Stet.

Did I do this one already? I’m too lazy to look but I don’t think I did.

When I send authors edits, most especially final line/copy edits, I ask them to 1)not delete the line editor’s comments and 2) if they’re not going to do the suggested change, just put a “stet” in a comment, so I know they’ve at least seen the suggested change, didn’t just miss it.

Well, I’ve had a few authors email me back and ask just what the hell “stet” is and why would they put that in their comments.

To that, I usually provide this Wikipedia link with a short snippet from it. Stet is a Latin word (meaning “let it stand”) used by proofreaders to instruct the writer to disregard a change the editor had previously marked.

And from Dictionary.com

stet verb, stet·ted, stet·ting.
–verb (used without object)
1. let it stand (used imperatively as a direction on a printer’s proof, manuscript, or the like, to retain material previously canceled, usually accompanied by a row of dots under or beside the material).
–verb (used with object)
2. to mark (a manuscript, printer’s proof, etc.) with the word “stet” or with dots as a direction to let canceled material remain.

Interesting side note. Webster’s shows the etymology date of usage as 1875, while the online etymology dictionary says 1755. That’s quite the disparity.

And now you know…the rest of the story 😉

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