Usage

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Editing and Proofreading On-screen and Online Content: From Word to Adobe to Pastel!

Editing / Usage / Editing New Media / Technology / Editing & Technologies

The first step in preparing a document for publication is the copyediting of the work. The majority of copyediting tasks today are carried out on-screen using the mark-revision feature (e. g. , track changes) built into the powerful word processing program of your choice (e. g. , Microsoft Word). Need to add in a missing comma? No problem. Correct a misspelling? Easily fixed. Delete a repetition?...

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Zero to What? How to Treat Numbers in Different Editing Styles: A Cheat Sheet

Editing / Usage / Language & Editing / Editing Numbers

Here at TEC, it’s our job to provide our clients with the best guidance and advice in the editing and flow of their documents. Recently, we had a client ask us about working with numbers in text – how to treat them, when to spell them out, when not to spell them out… There are many questions that can arise when you’re working with numbers!   So, here is a helpful...

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What Does “Heading A” Mean? Some Key Editing Terms Explained

Editing / Usage / Style / Editor/writer / Publishing

Editorial work entails a variety of different jobs. These include substantive editing, line editing, and proofreading. Because the process of editorial work occurs largely through written exchanges — through emails and through editorial comments left in the manuscript’s margin, for example — it’s critical that writers and editors share a common glossary of editorial terms.   Editorial work, like work in most industries, employs an ever-expanding list of technical...

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Ryerson’s Publishing Program: Insights and Inspirations from Two of TEC’s Editors

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

Ryerson University’s Publishing Program is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year!    Founded in 1990, the Certificate in Publishing is the largest and most successful professional training program for the publishing industry in Canada. Our graduates thrive in book publishing and related industries, and in corporate, non-profit, and government communications. (Ryerson Publishing)   We wanted to celebrate this milestone by sharing some insights and inspirations from two of the program’s current students...

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Active vs. Passive Voice: Understanding How and Why They Work

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Writing

Although there are some who would advocate for a world free of passive-voice constructions, an all-out ban on this wrongfully maligned verbal form would be going too far. It is true that the active voice generally provides clarity that the passive voice tends to lack, but when used effectively, the passive voice allows for an element of mystery or gravity that can be difficult to achieve in straightforward active-voice...

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Resources and Tips to Help Editors Stay Current

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Usage

Like any profession, editorial work involves keeping up with how professional standards and tools of the trade change over time. Unlike aviation standards, though, changes to editorial standards aren’t always big news, so it’s generally up to individual editors to try to keep on top of how and when the editorial goalposts have shifted. One of the most effective ways for writers and editors to make sure that...

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The Nuts and Bolts of Strong Prose: Semicolons, Colons, and Dashes

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Usage

Punctuation marks are the signposts of prose. They indicate what’s important and where to pause. They add rhythm to your sentences. They help your readers follow the twists and turns of your thoughts.     But there are so many different kinds of punctuation marks that it can be tricky to decide which one to choose. Periods and commas are the most common, but trying to write with...

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6 Methods of Emphasizing Words and Ideas in Writing

Editing / Usage / Style / Writing / Writers Support Group

Emphatic writing allows writers the opportunity to drive home the importance of letters, words, phrases, sentences, and ideas. Aside from mechanical considerations, such as italicization and CAPITALIZATION, there are six common methods that writers can use to give specific sections a bit more oomph.     More Space   The first of these is probably the most obvious method for emphasizing an idea: giving a specific topic lots of space on the page...

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“Back to Basics” Editing Rules

Editing / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

In this week's blog, we decided to share some of the most basic editing rules that editors must remember to follow, regardless of what type of text they're working with.     Do No Harm Perhaps the most important rule in editing is this: do not introduce errors into the text you are working with! If a text requires a lot of markup and heavy editing, sometimes it can be easy to miss...

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4 Handy Tips: A Punctuation Primer

Editing / Grammar / Usage

We thought we would repost former TEC Editor Melissa’s blog this week to help us review four of the most common punctuation-related errors or inconsistencies that we see here at TEC.   Keeping these punctuation tips in mind will ensure that you apply them correctly and consistently in your writing.       THE SERIAL COMMA   Also called the “Oxford comma,” this is a comma that follows the second-last item in a list of three...

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4 Important Online Resources for the Business Writer & Editor

Editing / Usage / Business

Your business documents are vital to getting your message across, differentiating your organization from others, and reflecting your brand. Never before has the need for clear and compelling content been greater.   Optimizing your business reports, proposals, marketing materials, and website copy will ensure they are persuasive and geared to your intended audience.   In my first blog for The Editing Company, I have put together a toolkit of online editing...

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6 Faulty Writing Habits

Editing / Usage / Style / Writing / Writers Support Group

There’s never a bad time to refresh your writing skills, and now is as good a time as ever (especially if you’re finding yourself with some extra time on your hands)! Here are some common writing habits to unlearn or avoid if you want your writing to be as clear as possible for your readers.     “Sardine sentences”   Attempting to cram too many facts into one sentence results in what we call...

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A Question of Tenses: Which Tense to Choose and Why

Editing / Usage / Writing / Writers Support Group / Language & Editing

We use different tenses all the time: I am listening to music. I went to the store on Saturday. I will make broccoli tonight. I am waiting for the television that I bought to arrive, and later I will watch a movie on it.   We rarely think about our use of tenses, even in examples like the last one I listed in which I used present, past,...

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Midterm Madness: A Primer on How to Format Your APA Academic Paper

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

November has rolled around again, which can only mean one thing (for students, anyway): midterms and papers are coming up and will be due before the winter break!   We’ve had a flurry of formatting projects at TEC in the last few weeks, and a few of them have involved formatting academic papers. Writing the paper is hard enough, but when it comes to proper formatting, depending on the assigned style...

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Editing Acronyms and Initialisms: Tips on Using Them Effectively

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Writing

As anyone who edits (or writes) non-fiction knows, few things are as frustratingly difficult to keep straight as acronyms and initialisms. Two weeks ago, TEC editor Ronnie Morris broke down the difference between, and history and uses of, acronyms and initialisms. For anyone who needs a refresher on what those are, read Ronnie’s blog post on acronyms and initialisms, and then check back in here for some tips...

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Editing Acronyms and Initialisms: The Almost Impossible Task of Keeping Them Consistent

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Usage

It has been considered a usual style to shorten words in order to save time or space for some time now. Some of us will remember acronyms and initialisms used by bands (XTC, AC/DC, KMFDM, R. E. M. , U2,  the KLF, and the Notorious B. I. G. ), by television shows (M. A. S. ...

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

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style

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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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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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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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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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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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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