Usage

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Ask the Business Editor: What Is Inclusive Language?

Editing / Usage / Language & Editing

As a human being, language is one of the most influential tools that you have. As with everything in life, language evolves and you need to ensure that you evolve with it, especially if you want to ensure that the language you use is inclusive.   Unintentionally, you carry your own biases and assumptions with you every day, and these preconceptions can affect your oral and written communication.   Inclusive language...

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3 Formatting Basics in Word: Spaces and Tab Indents, Setting Headings, and Adding Reference Notes

Editing / Usage / Editing New Media / Editing & Technologies

Chances are, if you produce written documents on a daily basis—whether professional reports, personal projects, school-related work (such as dissertations/theses)—you work in Microsoft Word. We know that Word can be tricky when it comes to the ins and outs of formatting, and that there are many options to get to know. We know how helpful formatting tips can be and want to share our expertise in a new...

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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 / Usage / Style

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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TEC Roundup: Our 6 Most-Visited Blogs in 2021

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Publishing / Language & Editing

Well, 2021 is coming to an end (where did the year go, exactly?), and as 2022 approaches, it’s hard not to look back on the past year and think about how it went for you—the things that happened, the experiences you had, the things you learned. In that vein, we wanted to know how the content we’ve been creating helped our readers out over the past year. So,...

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Everyday Proofreading and Punctuation Marks: What Do They Mean and How Are They Used?

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Proofreading / Usage

Pretty much everyone uses punctuation marks in their day-to-day life, whether it’s in texts, emails, professional communications, business writing, letters, birthday cards, notes…the list goes on and on! Periods, commas, question marks, exclamation points—these marks are familiar, and their usage is likely firmly cemented in your mind.   However, for some less-common punctuation marks/word treatments that perhaps don’t get used quite as often, it can become easy to mix them up...

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A Brief History of the Pilcrow: A Worldly Mark on Proofreading

Editing / Usage / Proofreading / Usage / Language & Editing

The ways that linguistic conventions change over time are sometimes obvious. New dialects and turns of phrase crop up, and many of them gradually change their meaning. Contextual changes throughout history often drive this kind of linguistic shift, but linguistic conventions also change in a subtler way. For instance, changes to the ways words are spelled tend to favour shortening rather than lengthening, presumably because people prefer...

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Fact-Checking: The “Behind the Scenes” Editing Work

Editing / Usage / Editor/writer / Proofreading

Why Do We Fact-Check?   As The Chicago Manual of Style points out, in publishing, the author is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of a work. And while most publishers do not perform fact-checking in any sort of systematic way or expect it of their editors, obvious errors should always be pointed out to the author, as well as any questionable proper names or other dubious details that might take away...

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5 Out-of-This-World Tips for Editors of Science Fiction

Editing / Usage / Style / Publishing

The process of working on any manuscript presents a range of concerns specific to the manuscript’s intended genre, so don’t get caught with your space pants down. Have a look at these 5 tips on how to effectively edit science fiction.   Substantive Editing: A Journey to the Centre of the Plot A Timely Topic?   During the substantive edit of a science-fiction manuscript, the editor acts as an informed and interested reader....

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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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