Language & Editing
Home / Blog / Language & Editing

Language & Editing

results 1-24 of 53

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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. ...

Read More

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...

Read More

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,...

Read More

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...

Read More

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. ...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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....

Read More

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,...

Read More

Inclusive Writing: It’s Not About Political Correctness

Language & Editing

Inclusive writing is often confused with politically correct writing, but political correctness isn’t an author’s main goal when writing inclusively. Instead, inclusive writing seeks to limit reader alienation by avoiding the use of phrases and terms that include some demographics at the expense of excluding others.   When writing inclusively, a glossary of politically correct and incorrect terms could be used as a reference, but this glossary would act as...

Read More

Man! Unbiased Language Can Be Confusing

Language & Editing

A while back, we at TEC were chatting over lunch about Word On The Street, and I mentioned that I had once manned a booth at the event. The reaction was an awkward pause, followed by “Manned a booth?”   The question was, of course, one of gender neutrality. Shouldn’t I have said “staffed” instead? Didn’t “manning” imply a bias towards staffing being a male bailiwick? So I did what...

Read More

Subject-Verb Agreement

Language & Editing

  It's pretty simple, right? A singular subject takes a singular verb, and a plural subject takes a plural verb. The dog is barking. The dogs are barking. Most of the time, we apply this rule without even thinking about it. But sometimes, we're stumped.   How Complicated Can It Be? It can actually be a bit unnerving to consult a grammar guide for help with subject-verb agreement. ...

Read More

The Affected Effects of Impact

Language & Editing

Language and the way we use it is undeniably fluid. One doesn't have to look far to find idioms and words that have changed their wording and subsequently their meanings over the years. Especially in the 21st century, words that were once nouns have now become noun/verb hybrids. Examples that immediately spring to mind are "to text," as in "I'll text you," and the teeth-grindingly common "to...

Read More

A Crash Course on Political Language from Roosevelt by way of Trump to Orwell

Language & Editing

    The political world gets progressively denser every day, especially the world of US politics. And, though Canadians often pretend at being secure from the political meltdown south of the 49th parallel, the reality is that it's incumbent upon those of us who live north of the border to learn all we can about both the Canadian and US systems of governance . and propaganda.   Participating in, or at...

Read More

Myths & Superstitions of the Theatre: Where Do They Come From?

Language & Editing

    I'm set to play Jack Manningham in The Tipling Stage Company's production of Gaslight. And because the play, Patrick Hamilton's psychological thriller about a husband trying to drive his wife mad in order to benefit from her committal to an insane asylum, is set in Victorian England, I've been thinking about the etymologies of various theatrical terms, myths, and superstitions.   As a theatre student in my 20s, I was...

Read More

Words of the Year and Where They Come From

Language & Editing

        What do the words Y2K, plutoed, tweet, e-, they, and bailout have in common?   Simple. They have all, at one point, been named as "Words of the Year. " You may have noticed this tradition, occurring around the end of each year. Dictionaries and websites come out with their idea of what word best represents the past year. Some of the words of...

Read More

Crossing the Pond: One Editor’s Transition from Canada to the UK

Language & Editing

  The past few years in Toronto have been very eventful for me: I've defended my PhD thesis, got married, started my freelance editing career, and had a baby! As it turns out, the adventure isn't ending there. In the New Year, my family and I will be crossing the Atlantic to move to the UK.   In addition to getting used to driving on the left side of the road,...

Read More

“G’wan, B’y”: A Primer on Cape Breton English

Language & Editing

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of introducing my husband and my 7-month-old son to the lovely island of Cape Breton, where my parents grew up. I remember my many childhood trips “out east” fondly, and I relished re-living the experience: crossing the Canso Causeway, driving the Cabot Trail, and looking out over the Great Bras d’Or.   Besides these, one of my favourite things about Cape Breton is...

Read More

A Halloween Word Treat from The Editing Company

Language & Editing

Halloween fast approaches, and you may have noticed pumpkins and scarecrows appearing on your neighbours’ stoops, and ravaged racks of costumes popping up in stores. I certainly have my decorations up already—black cats, broomsticks, and skeletons, oh my! This week, we thought we’d enlighten you on some fun Halloween etymology in a post by former TEC editor Mary Ann! ***** Mid-October is that wonderful time of year when the air takes on...

Read More