Language & Editing
Home / Blog / Language & Editing

Language & Editing

results 1-24 of 78

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Reflecting on the Number 14: An Auspicious Age for The Editing Company

Business / Event / Language & Editing

The Editing Company is celebrating its 14th year of editorial excellence, and, to mark this milestone, I’m investigating the cultural, numerological, linguistic, and mathematical significance of the number 14.   “Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things. ” -Henri Poincaré   Mathematics was never my best subject, so I’ll keep this section brief and, I hope, relatively simple. Unlike the numbers two, three, five, and seven, 14 is...

Read More

What You Think You Know Is Probably Wrong

Language & Editing

We are pleased to repost this blog by former TEC editor Laura Cok. Laura is currently working as a communications specialist with Indigo Books and is a published poet. Her poem "Cosmic Egg Hypothesis" was the winner of the 2020 League of Canadian Poets Broadsheet Contest.   *** Bookish types, such as we are, can run into problems with pronunciation. As a child, the language I was reading was more advanced than...

Read More

Take a Break, Editors!

Language & Editing / Books And Reading

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, relaxation techniques, and interactive activities for you to help you perk up, recharge, and give your brain a break!    Copy Edit This! Try The New York Times Grammar Quiz The NYT has been offering readers a chance to...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Canadian and American Spelling in Action: A Sampler

Language & Editing

Canadian vs. American spelling variation isn't a topic we have talked about recently, but it is definitely a subject that continues to remain relevant! This sampler, pulled from TEC's archives, will help give you an introduction to the differences between Canadian and American spelling, and if you need to check the spelling of a specific word, we suggest taking a look at Barbara's trio of spelling guides (linked below)...

Read More

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...

Read More

Ask the TEC Editors: What Is the Best Editing Advice You’ve Received?

Editing / Style / Editor/writer / Language & Editing

Spring is here, and as the trees start to bud, and the snowdrops and crocuses start to poke their green tips out of the dirt, it’s hard not to think about growth, in all senses of the word. At TEC, this got us thinking – as we’ve grown as editors, picking up knowledge and tips along the way, what is the most important piece of advice we’ve kept in...

Read More

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

Editing / Style / Editor/writer / Publishing / Proofreading

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...

Read More

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 would normally gather together to drive away the gloom. However, this year, things are a little different. Just because we cannot gather together as we normally would though, doesn't mean the holidays have to be dark and gloomy. Lights can shine even in the darkest of spaces.   There are dozens of holidays celebrated around...

Read More

Inclusive Writing: It’s Not About Political Correctness

Usage / 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

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...

Read More

Confounding Confusables: Part V

Usage / Language & Editing

Our blog series on confusables has remained popular over the years, so we thought it was time to post a new list. This one includes some explanations of confusables you’ve likely heard in the news recently.     Epidemic vs. Pandemic   Both these words are used for disease outbreaks, which I suppose is why it’s so easy to confuse them. The main difference between the two terms has to do...

Read More

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...

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 fortune to be able...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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,...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More