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Samhain 2020: Unmasking the Origins of Halloween

Event / Usage / Language & Editing

October 2020 is drawing to a close, and pandemic-fatigued children and adults are turning to the warm embrace of holiday nostalgia to help ease their minds. With December still more than a month away, though, it’s anyone’s guess what kind of public health guidelines will be in place when Christmas and Hannukah arrive, so many are scaling back their festive celebrations in favour of online get-togethers.   Remembrance Day gatherings...

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Finding Your Flow: A Self-Study Approach to the Academic Writing Process

Writing / Writers Support Group / Language & Editing / Guest Blogger

Though I can agree with the adage that anyone can write, we seldom take the time to unpack how people come to the writing process. In my world of academia, writing is not a choice but an expectation. Because of this, one has to quickly find their flow and stick to it. Everyone has their own style when it comes to writing. I’ve had the good fortune to be able...

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The Evolving Lexicon of Web Jargon

Usage / Technology / Language & Editing / Editing & Technologies

In this archived post from 2017, TEC Blogger Michael Bedford muses on how editors deal with an unending stream of technical and internet lingo, with new terms that seem to appear every other day. If you get stuck on what to do with terms like google and Wi-Fi, read on!   *****     Leafing through a copy of The Editorial Eye, Vol. 17, No. 9 from September 1994, I noticed a helpful article...

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Keep It Simple: Being a Better Business Communicator

Business / Writing / Writers Support Group / Language & Editing

Writing in a business environment can often be tricky, but throw in the uncertain times of a global pandemic and a rapidly changing market? Things just got a lot trickier.   However, there are simple tips you can remember to ensure your writing is always clear and concise and that can make your professional life easier. When your business communications are well-explained and easy to understand, your clients and your employees...

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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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Leap Years and Years of Confusion: On the Peculiar Origins of Leap Years

Event / Language & Editing

“Thirty days have November, April, June, and September. With 28 there is but one. All the rest have 31,” but not this year. This year, none of the months have but 28. Instead, February has 29 days, so it seems this handy rhyme is in need of some amendment. How about, “All the rest have 31 but in a leap year you will find that...

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7 Tips for Clear and Effective Business Writing

Business / Writing / Writers Support Group / Language & Editing

Chances are good that you will have to do some writing at some point in your business career. And regardless of your field, your writing will have to be clear, correct, and effective. For many of us, this can pose a big challenge. In this blog, we offer seven key tips to help you engage readers and promote your ideas clearly and effectively.     Consider Your Audience   Always write...

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Writing an Undergraduate Thesis: Where to Start

Writing / Writers Support Group / Language & Editing

So, you’ve done your years of studying. You’ve written countless essays and papers and exams. You know enough about a specific subject that you could write dozens of pages about it, and now that your next step is to write your thesis, you’ll have to do just that.   At The Editing Company, we edit a wide range of academic writing, including academic theses. By the time we...

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Spring Festival: A Brief History of the Chinese New Year

Event / Language & Editing

On January 25, 2020, the Chinese lunar calendar will turn over once again. In preparation for this year’s Spring Festival, I did some research, and prepared a brief history of this important annual event. The Chinese calendar is a complicated and storied institution with uncertain origins, but key points to remember are that years, months, days, and even hours are associated with animal and elemental symbols. These...

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Festivals of Lights: How the Candles and Lights of Winter Holidays Illuminate the Dark

Language & Editing

As the world grows dark and cold in the Northern Hemisphere, cultures across the globe gather to drive away the gloom. There are dozens of holidays celebrated around the world in the darkest months of the year, and almost all of them centre on light, warmth, and community. For this week’s blog, I’m going to step away from editing and focus on candles and light in some of...

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

Usage / Language & Editing

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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How to Improve Informal Writing in Business Emails

Business / Language & Editing

Chances are, you have had a lot of experience or contact with business writing: compiling expense or business reports, writing up contracts, and crafting proposals. Whether you work for yourself or for a small or large business, many aspects of your job will involve writing. When most people think about "business writing," they probably think of the type of writing I listed above — more formal, structured types of...

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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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Book Review: Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks, by Wendy Laura Belcher

Writing / Writers Support Group / Book Reviews / Language & Editing

For academics across disciplines, writing and publishing journal articles is an unavoidable part of professional life. Anyone who’s been or been close to a scholar starting out in their career, struggling to find work, or approaching tenure knows that the need to publish can be a tremendous source of stress. The huge field of journal publishing can seem arbitrary and impersonal, and the connection between quality of thought...

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12 Things I Learned Working with TEC’s Editing Team

Editing / Editor/writer / Language & Editing / Guest Blogger

Over the years, TEC has grown, acquiring new editors and a new office. One of TEC’s greatest strengths is that its editors work together in the same room, creating a collegiate space of teamwork and collaboration. During my time at TEC, I learned more than I could have imagined by spending my days in a team of outstanding editors. In honour of TEC turning 12 this September,...

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Finding Your Flow: A Self-Study Approach to the Academic Writing Process

Writing / Writers Support Group / Language & Editing / Guest Blogger

Though I can agree with the adage that anyone can write, we seldom take the time to unpack how people come to the writing process. In my world of academia, writing is not a choice but an expectation. Because of this, one has to quickly find their flow and stick to it. Everyone has their own style when it comes to writing. I’ve had the good...

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The Return of Confusables: Part IV

Writing / Writers Support Group / Usage / Language & Editing

Our blog series on confusables (a. k. a. , easily mixed up words) has remained popular throughout the years, so we thought we’d revive it and take a look at some more tricky word pairings!     I. e. vs. E. g. These are both Latin abbreviations that we often see switched around. “E. ...

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A Guide to Decluttering Your Writing, or The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Writing / Writers Support Group / Language & Editing

When I first considered this blog post, I had a brilliant idea. I’d compare it to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up! I’d call it “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Writing”! How clever!   As I learned by turning to Google, Grammarly already has a blog post with that exact title. And The Writing Cooperative has a similar post by Teresa Ingalls, titled “De-clutter Your Writing...

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4 Sessions and 2 Keynotes: Soaking Up Book Buzz at Book Summit 2019

Event / Editing & Marketing / Language & Editing

On June 18, 2019, we attended Book Summit 2019 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. It was a gorgeous day to be on the waterfront — breezy, warm, and not a cloud in the sky. At last, the first hint of summer weather. Such a great setting for this annual event celebrating Canadian book publishing. In this blog, we cover the key points (and more) about the sessions...

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EditorCon: Reflections on the Editors Canada 40th Anniversary Conference

Publishing / Event / Language & Editing

On June 7, a perfect, sunny, 20 degree day, I arrived in Halifax. I breathed in the sea air after many months of life in Toronto, headed straight to the waterfront to say hello to my favourite ocean, and then prepared for the actual reason I’d arrived — the Editors Canada 40th Anniversary Conference.   Each year, the Editors’ Association of Canada (or Editors Canada, for short) hosts a conference...

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Pondering the Meaning and Role of Archaic Words — And, Yes, We Can Still Use Them

Usage / Language & Editing

A few years ago, I decided to celebrate my love of Regency and Victorian literature by getting a tattoo of the word “ardent,” paying homage to Pride and Prejudice and Middlemarch and every other nineteenth-century novel that uses “ardent” as an evocative and powerful descriptor. My favourite university professor describes Middlemarch as a battle between the words “ardent” and “petty. ” And who can forget Mr. Darcy’s passionate...

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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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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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