I always thought of "red-marked copy" as a standard way of referring to a draft text in which the changes from a previous draft are highlighted. After casually using it when talking to a fellow member (BE as first language) of the university lab I am working at and generating confusion, I looked it up on Google and discovered that there are only about 2k results found.

So I am wondering:

  1. Is "red-marked copy" a common expression? Is there any meaning other than a copy tracking changes by highlighting?
  2. Is there a more universally accepted term to refer to a copy tracking changes to a document?

Thank you very much in advance!

  • 1
    "Marked-up copy" is a term I've heard of, but I'm not sure about relative popularity. oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100134874 – Stuart F Apr 19 at 14:30
  • 1
    marked-up copy, yes. Lawyers use: red-lining and black-lining. Copy with tracked changes turned on. I think you can use any color you like....[Personally, I detest that track changes feature.] – Lambie Apr 19 at 15:13
  • @StuartF Does "marked-up copy" sound disparaging to you? Mark up is defined here as "to deface by covering with marks" and "deface" is definitely not an appreciation... – yavagi Apr 19 at 15:14
  • In the editing world, we do say: this is marked-up copy. To mark copy, with the marks used in correcting texts. So Stuart F is absolutely right. – Lambie Apr 19 at 15:39
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    The point of using "marked-up" as a modifier is simply to distinguish an edited manuscript in which the changes are visible from a "raw" (unedited) manuscript and a "cleaned-up" manuscript (one in which the editing changes have been accepted or otherwise incorporated without leaving them visible). Used in this sense, "marked-up" is a purely descriptive term and doesn't imply a negative judgment about the quality of the manuscript. I haven't encountered the expression "red-marked copy" in my editing work, but I don't see anything wrong with it as a descriptive phrase. – Sven Yargs Apr 20 at 0:12

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