Editing

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How to Use the Semicolon to Connect Your Thoughts & Clarify Your Meaning

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Language & Editing

As an icebreaker activity in one of my publishing courses, a teacher asked us to give our names, what we liked to read for fun, and what our favourite punctuation marks were—something editors are likely to feel strongly about, even if no one else does. Ampersands were praised for their aesthetic appeal, em dashes for their versatility, and the Oxford (or serial) comma for its unfailing commitment to clarity....

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Possessives: Some Basic Rules on Using “s” and an Apostrophe

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style

The most common mistakes with grammar often involve seemingly simple things. In English, possession is indicated using an apostrophe and, usually, an added “s. ” But maybe because spoken English doesn’t mark the difference between plurals and possessions, such as in “dogs” and “dog’s,” it is common even for experienced writers to make mistakes. This blog reviews some of the basic rules that can help you avoid these...

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Editorial Women: Then and Now

Editing / Editor/writer / Publishing

A famous editor might sound like a contradiction in terms to some, but for those plugged into the literary world there are a few names that pop up time and again. In the past, as with many professions, most well-known editors’ names have historically been those of men, but thanks in part to the pioneering efforts of some very intelligent and driven women, there are now more well-known editorial...

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To Friend or Unfriend? The Evolution of Nouns into Verbs

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Usage

In 2009, “unfriend” was the Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year, leading to teeth-gnashing of grammar purists across the world. How could this be? How did “unfriend” become a word at all, when “friend,” until not so long ago, wasn’t even a verb, but merely someone with whom you enjoyed spending time?   The English language, like all languages, is constantly evolving. “Unfriend” may still seem strange to us,...

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Ask the Editor: Some Common Myths About What We Do

Editing / Editor/writer

There are many myths out there about the editing profession, and there are many myths about editors. An editor is many things, so we know that what we do can be confusing to someone who has written a manuscript and is considering looking for an editor. Some of the more common myths stem from not understanding the editing process and what the role of the editor is. ...

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Tidying-Up Your Academic Writing: The Magic of the Reverse Outline

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

January is the time of year when we begin hearing from students who need help with their dissertations, theses, and papers. To help them out, we're revisiting this blog from TEC's archives on how to craft a reverse outline! ***** Could your academic writing use a good de-cluttering?   While doing structural editing for a client—especially with graduate students’ theses or dissertations—I’ve often found myself using the same little trick when faced with...

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The Online World of Grammar and Usage: Reliable Online Editorial Resources

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

Although you’re unlikely to find many writers or editors willing to give up the hard copies of their dictionaries or style and usage guides, working as a writer or editor in the 21st century has its perks: the list of reliable online editorial resources gets longer every year. Here’s a great listing to get you started.   Online Style Guides Online bastions of editorial integrity include well-known editorial authorities such as...

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Web Citations: Headache Extraordinaire?

Editing

  Citing sources from the internet is something most academic writers do all the time; papers can be written without consulting a single sheet of paper. But citing web sources seems to be a continuing source of confusion, trouble, and headache.   Dynamic Development Part of the confusion comes from how citation styles have developed alongside the internet: no one knew exactly what place web sources would take in academic work, so...

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Talking about Pictures: Describing and Citing Artwork

Editing

  The publishing world has well-developed rules and guidelines for describing and citing work that exists as printed text. Things can be less clear for a writer when dealing with other kinds of cultural production. Visual art works, for instance, pose particular questions and challenges.   Description as Interpretation and Framing No matter how we go about describing the visual in words, the process inevitably involves imposing a certain way of...

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A Post- Post

Editing / Usage

      The postgraduate student researching the rise of postmodernism in the postwar period found herself with post-traumatic stress disorder. A wealthy dealer gave the famous post-impressionist artist a post-dated cheque for his painting of a post-apocalyptic landscape. The soccer coach thought it would be best to postpone the weekly postgame festivities and throw one major postseason party instead.   The prefix “post,” it would seem, follows us everywhere. But...

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What’s the Matter with ibid.?

Editing / Style

The Latin word ibidem, better known these days by its short form ibid. , is one of the technical tools of academic writing and editing. Literally meaning "in the same place," it's used in footnotes and endnotes to mean that a note refers to the same source as the previous note. This little bit of Latin has long been a way of inducting a writer (in high school...

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On Dramaturgy, Substantive Editing’s Theatrical Cousin

Editing

dramaturgy n. 1 the art of theatrical production; the theory of dramatics. 2 the application of this.  dramaturgical adj.   ~Paperback Oxford Canadian Dictionary: Second Edition     Editors are the unsung heroes of the publishing industry, reading and re-reading tirelessly in an effort to improve others' writing. In the case of substantive editing, a book editor might spend years working with an author, and, though they receive a salary and...

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Notes from a Town & Country Editor and Writer

Editing

  Having worked as a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Grey County, and now the Hamilton area, I've had the opportunity to learn about some of the pros and cons of doing editorial work in both rural and urban settings. As a returning blogger for The Editing Company, I'm glad that I get to share my experiences serving clarity, consistency, and correctness, and I hope that reading about my...

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Take a Break, Editors!

Editing

Editing is hard work, and sometimes it's nice to take a break from editing a particularly difficult piece of text and have a bit of fun. I've collected some suggestions for little quizzes, intriguing blog posts, and interactive activities for you to help you perk up and give your brain a break!   OED Blog: Symbols for Sounds: Dictionary Pronunciations Explained If an interesting distraction is what you’re after, this article from...

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Ask the Editor: How Do I Prepare for My First Meeting with An Editor?

Editing / Editor/writer

Did you know that for TEC's tenth anniversary, we are running a promotion where you can get a free consultation with our Senior Editor, Beth, to discuss your project? (Email us to sign up!) It's a fantastic opportunity to get some guidance on advancing your project, what kind of editing it will need, and ways you can make your writing better.   So come on in to see us -- we'd...

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Hot Off the Press! The Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition

Editing

In celebration of the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (both hard copy and digital editions) we thought it would be appropriate to repost a blog from 2012 that looked at the humbler version of the CMS. Here at The Editing Company, we page through our hard-copy edition on a regular basis, and now we page through the online edition that we subscribed to just about a year ago....

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Back from the Archives: Editing & Hyphens: Tips on Hyphenating Your Writing

Editing / Usage

This week, we wanted to re-post one of our most consistently popular blogs: Barbara's 2015 blog on hyphenation! Even two years later, it's always at the top of our "most viewed" lists -- clearly, tips about hyphenation are never out of season! We hope it reaches some new writers seeking guidance and helps them out too.     They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. ...

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Misplaced Modifiers: How to Find Them and How to Lose Them

Editing

    Remember Groucho Marx's famous quip? "One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I'll never know. " What makes this joke work is, of course, the misplaced modifier "in my pyjamas. " But what if Groucho hadn't added that second sentence? Would you have noticed a problem?    What Are Misplaced Modifiers? Put simply, misplaced modifiers are words, phrases, or clauses separated from...

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A Little Bit of Editing, A Little Bit of Proofreading, A Little Bit of Formatting: The Final Steps in Polishing Your Dissertation

Editing

TEC has had a number of dissertations cross our desks over the past few months, and working on these important documents is always a process that requires a lot of attention and an eye for detail. We take editing dissertations (and theses as well) very seriously: when we work on such a document, we know the work we do can have huge impact on our client's life. We...

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The Value of Having Your Thesis or Dissertation Edited by a Professional Editor

Editing

  Having your thesis or dissertation edited by a professional editor can be an incredibly valuable investment. After all, a graduate degree is typically a once-in-a-lifetime venture, and is meant to be foundational to your future career. A professional editor is paid to spend substantial amounts of time and energy (something even the best supervisors don't have a lot of) reading your work and providing thorough editorial feedback on...

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Have Questions? Book a 15-Minute Complimentary Consult with Our Senior Editor

Editing

  We at TEC welcome phone calls from our potential clients looking for guidance about the editing process and the cost of editing. When we receive calls during our business hours (10 to 6, Monday to Friday), we try to provide as much information as possible but do not always have the time for a long conversation. Unfortunately, if the office is busy, we may have to keep the...

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Tidying-Up Your Academic Writing: The Magic of the Reverse Outline

Editing

Could your academic writing use a good de-cluttering?   While doing structural editing for a client—especially with graduate students’ theses or dissertations—I’ve often found myself using the same little trick when faced with overwhelming walls of meandering academic text. Essentially, this trick involves using MS Word’s comments feature to reduce these huge swathes of text into tiny, bite-sized tags, and then dealing exclusively with these tags, rather than the text...

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10 Steps for “Working” Your Manuscript

Editing

  What does it mean when we say an author is "working" the manuscript? It means that we recognize that the author is making the time to rewrite, revise, and reshape the manuscript as often as needed to make it ready for publication. We have the pleasure of working with many authors who seem to know instinctively how to go about doing this, and to watch them at work is...

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An Editor Contemplates Holiday Overindulgences

Editing

The holiday season is like a mercifully distant relative who visits only once a year; I am always glad to see her arrive and always gladder to see her go. Now she is indeed gone, leaving behind bloated waistlines, glassy eyes, and pounding heads. And about time, I say. Good riddance to archaic holiday language until next year. How do you troll a Yuletide carol anyway?...

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