Monday, 20 February 2023 11:08

Four things I learnt about SENSE as a new member

Written by Tomas Brogan

pixabay   fabe lau   crossing g179be5328 1920

Having just joined SENSE and experienced the double whammy of the SENSE Annual Dinner and the online Orientation, I was asked to write this post to give a new member’s perspective of the Society.

Two style options were immediately apparent: that of the stream-of-consciousness EIMI by e e cummings or a listicle. Ill-advised neologisms aside, the former, more lifelike option might not quite get the information across. So a list it is.

1. SENSE is real

It is surely a modern ritual for new SENSE members: you join an online meeting expecting to find an instructor and a slide show, only to be confronted with a lively network of living, breathing human beings. Once the initial shock is over, it’s best (in my opinion) to attend an in-person event. That way you will feel more at ease at the next online meetup.

Luckily, new members were made to feel especially welcome at the SENSE Annual Dinner on 21 January. If you missed it, I highly recommend coming to the AGM in March. Think drinks, snacks, a bookswap and a (non-obligatory!) singing workshop. And a little bit of voting.

2. To SIG is holy

Did I say ‘meetup’? This compound noun, made from the informal phrasal verb ‘to meet up’ would likely awake the same scorn as ‘listicle’ might among some SENSE members. Instead we have ‘SIG’ or ‘Special Interest Group’. It’s basically a meetup, based on interest (Copywriting SIG, Tech SIG) or area (Utrecht SIG, Eastern SIG). There’s a special one for new members: Starters SIG.

3. It’s not just editors

SENSE: the Society of English Native Speaking Editors

(For SENSE members mentally adding hyphens here, we can quote Churchill: “One must regard the hyphen as a blemish to be avoided wherever possible”.)

As the Society now includes non-native speakers and non-editors, it can be difficult for the starter to make sense of SENSE. But the acronym is just too good to lose. Now just called ‘SENSE’, members include editors, translators, subtitlers, indexers, and others.

One of the hallmarks of SENSE members is that they work with the English language. They may write or revise texts written in English. Or train non-native speakers to write in a business context. Or translate from English to Dutch. Add to that an ample assortment of subject areas, and anyone working with the English language should be able to find like-minded colleagues in SENSE.

4. To be decided

At the online SENSE Orientation, new members were given a good grounding in the inner workings of the Society. We were encouraged to come along to SIG meetups, post on the ‘Introduce yourself’ section on the Forum, and to find a SENSE mentor. There was also an invitation to volunteer for various roles in the Society, from proofreading blog posts to becoming a Member-at-Large in the Executive Committee.

The invitation to get involved in volunteering for SENSE may have been a bit unexpected for some new members, just as the SENSE Annual Dinner sounded like something for established members. Happily, we got a lot of encouragement from existing SENSE members at both events and many promising contacts were made.

SENSE membership offers big rewards for new members – not least mentoring and a ready-made network of colleagues – and it will take more than a little impostor syndrome or blog writer’s block to stop us getting involved. To be decided: the future is in our hands.

Blog post by: Tomas Brogan
LinkedIn: tomasbrogan

Read 323 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 February 2023 10:23

Other blog articles