Following on from 101 Things I Experienced during my HarperCollins Publishing Internship Part 1, where I detailed the ins and outs of daily life during an intern’s first week at this prestigious publishers. This week I have more interesting details to give, including what the Monday morning meeting entails, exercising at work, and getting to grips with the Collins corpus.
Day Five: the Monday Morning Meeting
17. The first port of call on a Monday morning is a meeting with the language team to discuss everything to be done during the week, and this time the intern is invited too. I’m amazed by the number of topics that need to be covered by the team, including updates due to trademarks and the ever-changing political correctness of certain terms, as well as so many deadlines that need to be set back or pushed forwards to make sure that each publishing project is coordinated properly with other departments.
18. I also hear a lot of technical, behind the scenes things, lots of different labels’ and talk of servers, etc. and other terms that I just don’t understand. I’ll honestly never look at any book or dictionary in the same way again now I know how much detail and planning has gone into the production of each one!
19. After the meeting back at my desk I eavesdrop on another cartography conversation about having to update statistics to do with new airports, passenger numbers, etc. And again, it makes me think about just how much planning and updating has to go into something like a map – we think language evolves quickly, but what about demographic statistics, they are changing all the time!
20. After an eye-opening morning I decide to spend my lunch time trying out the dreaded circuit training… welp. I pretty much nearly pass out by the end of the session, but once I’ve recovered and eaten something I do feel good for having done it, and I love the fact that there are always members of the team that are up for getting away from their desks at lunch time to do some exercise.
21. In the afternoon I’m working on another project that involves updating and modernising certain terms or phrases, especially ones that refer to the military (‘navvies’ etc.)
Day Six: Running with the man that ran 53 miles...
22. This morning I’m doing some work with Portuguese verbs, yay! Portuguese is one of my favourite languages and I enjoy the opportunity to put my degree to good use.
23. Hyped up by yesterday’s circuit training I decide to go for a lunchtime run. My running companions end up being a rather fast woman, and a man that had ran 53 MILES (in one go!) during an ultra-marathon just a couple of weeks before! I never even knew ultra-marathons were a thing! We only ran a few kilometres this lunch time of course, but I decided they would definitely be great influences on me… (update: then I never actually went running with them again, oops!)
24. I spent the afternoon preparing a particular printed resource to be turned into an online version, this involved a lot of little things like making sure page numbers corresponded to certain section titles, etc.
Day Seven: the Power of Words
25. I start of the morning with a nice strong coffee and some more work on the Chinese project, this turns into my morning routine.
26. For most of the day I have a fun task to do with images and illustrations, and making sure the details about certain images in a printed book match what’s on the online database.
27. In the afternoon, I also get to make some changes to the way topics like marriage are referred to in certain texts for young people. The changes are only very small, but it is nice to think about how little changes in the way some things are worded can have an effect on a young person’s outlook on certain issues, hopefully making them more open-minded people. Words are powerful!
Day Eight: So much data, so little time
28. Today is a fascinating day as I get to meet with a woman that works on the Collins corpus. She is so smart, and there is so much to learn! I find out so many fascinating things about data sources, permissions, etc. As well as how the data is used for different comparisons, and how it is especially useful when selecting the Word of the Year finalists! I’m allowed to play around with the data a bit myself, searching up different examples and word associations. Some of the results are ridiculously interesting, but I’m afraid if I tell you any more I will have to kill you 😉
Day Nine: Friday Feeling
29. My morning starts with implementing changes to do with trademarking updates, as HarperCollins makes sure to keep up to date with what does or doesn’t need a ™ symbol (which changes more often than you’d think!)
30. Then I’m working with my other favourite language again: Spanish! This time it is work to do with neologisms (newly created terms), and it is so much fun to see what kind of new words are up and coming, it’s also kind of scary too with words like ‘ciberterrorismo’ (cyber terrorism) on the up. The way the modern languages are evolving can reveal so much about how our world is changing!
31. After lunch I need to proof read a leaflet for an event, and then I am free to go. Since I only just graduated recently I have never really worked a full 9-5 week before, but now that I have (even though I really enjoyed the week) I do think for the first time I’m finally understanding what that ‘Friday afternoon feeling’ is like!
32. I spend the first of of my second weekend working on and updating this website! Agh! It’s not the most relaxing Saturday I’ve ever had, but it needs to be done.
33. I use Sunday to take a long run along the canal from the town where I’m staying, Bishopbriggs, to the next town along, Kirkintilloch. The canalside path is a lovely place to run and a great way to have a little explore of my new surroundings as well as let off some steam after staring at a computer screen for six days in a row. I also manage to get back just in time before it starts pouring it down, hah! Take that, Scotland! (I still haven’t been caught out in that notorious Scottish rain… yet…)
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