I’m excited to share a recent certificate I’ve earned. Earlier this month I completed a course on the foundations of interpretation with Indiana University’s Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands.
In this context, “interpretation” is the way docents, park guides, naturalists, and others provide meaningful experiences for visitors at museums, parks, and cultural and historical sites. Think costumed reenactors at a battle site or the guide on a cave tour.
What’s this have to do with editing?
62% of visitors receive interpretation through media services (think exhibit signage, brochures, placards, and so on).
This means there’s a lot of writing coming out of this field, and there’s a need for people who know what to look for when editing it.
Here’s a tiny example: interpreters shouldn’t phrase questions in a way that makes the answer sound really hard—like asking, “Does anyone know x?” Yep, it seems like something small, but being aware of these little nuances—having a better understanding of the field and the type of communication—helps set me up as an editor specializing in interpretive copy.
I’ve done interpretive editing before (including historical editing) and really enjoyed it. I love nature and history, which are at the heart of this field, and editing for museums or parks is something I’d love to do on a larger scale.
I’m hopeful that this training will open up some new copy editing and proofreading opportunities for me. Here’s to always learning something new!