Language & Editing
Home / Blog / Language & Editing

Language & Editing

results 25-48 of 53

5 Best Grammar Blogs for Authors

Language & Editing

Hello, TEC blog readers! It's been a glorious summer so far, and we hope you have had ample time to enjoy the weather. This week, we are re-posting Lesley-Anne's collection of grammar blogs in case you need to brush up.  We know, we know, no one wants to study grammar in the summer.  But many of us may need to because we are in summer school, finishing up summer...

Read More

Canadian and American Spelling in Action: A Sampler

Language & Editing

  Still puzzled by the different Canadian vs. American spellings? Drawing on the three blogs Barbara compiled (A to G, H to P, and Q to Z), we have written these sampler sentences to help you practise/practice. We have underlined the Canadian spellings that you would use if writing for a Canadian audience. Remember: some spellings are the same.   Double -ll- or single -l- When it is winter...

Read More

To Boldly Go: An Editor’s Journey Beyond the Infinite

Language & Editing

  Q: How many editors does it take to split an infinitive? A: Just one, but he has to really be persuaded. If, as Dr. Johnson said, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, perhaps it could be argued that grammatical prescriptivism -- strict and unquestioning adherence to rules -- is the last refuge of a pedant. As an editor, I can be one such pedant. I bristle at...

Read More

Canadian and American Spelling: Your Guide from Q to Z

Language & Editing

Stop right there. Did you read "queue to zee"? If you did, you're using American pronunciation. Up here in the land of butter tarts and Nanaimo bars, we say "queue to zed"—which is why we can't ever get the Alphabet Song to rhyme. But we love our alphabet with its odd ending nonetheless. One of our most popular alphabet books is Eh? To Zed: A Canadian...

Read More

Editing the New Language: Shifting Gender Norms and the Grammatical Conventions

Language & Editing

The "They" Debate The use of "they" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun has been the subject of much debate in the publishing world over the last couple of years. The 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style insists that "the only gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun in English is it, which doesn’t refer to humans" and that attempts to find a gender-neutral singular pronoun "won’t succeed" and "invite credibility...

Read More

Toronto Place Names and What Not to Call Them

Language & Editing

  Every city has its own peculiarities of spelling and pronunciation. Some things you just have to know – such as the fact that the first syllable of Houston Street in Manhattan is pronounced like "house. " If you say "Houston" as it is pronounced in Texas, New Yorkers will know you are not one of them.   Toronto has its share of places and street names that are commonly mispronounced...

Read More

Canadian and American Spelling: Your Guide from H to P

Language & Editing

Variety Is the Spice of Life It's hard to believe that a whole month has gone by since we posted the first part of our Canadian and American spelling list! As before, we're using the Canadian Oxford Dictionary for Canadian spelling and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary for American spelling. Once again, you'll notice that some words are spelled the same in both systems.   And here a confession: we're relying heavily on the Editors' Association of...

Read More

Why English is So Hard: A Poem

Language & Editing

It's April Fool's Day, and in lieu of pulling pranks, we've got humour of a more literary nature in mind.  With April being National Poetry Month (and in the spirit of today), we thought we'd post a funny little poem Barbara found and shared around the office! As well, Poem in My Pocket Day is coming to Canada for the first time this year, on April 21—perhaps you'd like to...

Read More

Canadian vs. American Humour: Is there a Difference?

Language & Editing

  A 2012 article by Bruce McCall in Vanity Fair attempted to unravel the secret of Canadian humour (or "humor" as the magazine spelled it). The question was raised as to whether such a thing even existed.   Canadian author Terry Fallis had success with his comic novel The Best Laid Plans, an amusing tale of political tomfoolery amongst some honourable MPs in Ottawa. Contrast this with Going Rouge: The...

Read More

Canadian and American Spelling: Your Guide from A to G

Language & Editing

  Vive la Différence! We all know that there's a difference between Canadian and American spelling,* and many of us have a basic grasp of the patterns, such as "-our/-or," "-re/er," or "-yse/yze. " But certainty usually ends somewhere around here, and unless you consult a dictionary, you may end up making rather haphazard spelling choices. "Does that look right? Um . I think so . Yeah, whatever. "   To...

Read More

Wab Kinew: The Power and Politics of Language

Language & Editing

On September 28, musician, academic, and activist Wab Kinew addressed a full house at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bluma Appel Salon. The event was part of the salon’s (free!) ongoing program in which “writers, thinkers, artists and innovators from around the world gather for conversation and debate. ” The CBC’s Carol Off interviewed Kinew about his new memoir, The Reason You Walk. He describes the book as...

Read More

Inclusive Editing: Beyond Political Correctness at the Editing Goes Global Conference

Language & Editing

  Since the term political correctness entered mainstream usage in the 1990s, it's been richly scorned and lampooned. Maybe this is because to some, the word correctness smacks of rules, rigid and arbitrary ones enforced by language police.   Of course, there is no official body governing the use of the English language. Dictionaries and style guides merely document and codify how the language is used. So it's up...

Read More

2 Experts Explain ESL Editing Plus

Language & Editing

  Editor Barbara: She's Been There!   So you've been in Canada for a while now, and you've gone from understanding very little English to understanding almost everything. From there, you've taken the leap to speaking fairly fluently. And yet . and yet . writing is a lot harder than you thought it would be. Learning the Language I hear you. ...

Read More

An American Editor in the Land of the Canadian Oxford

Language & Editing

  As a freelance editor working for clients from all over the world (and currently based here in Portland, Oregon), I have to be aware of the differences that folks from different lands incorporate into their versions of English. There are four distinct English types: American, British, Australian, and Canadian. Today, I'm going to address how I, an American editor, approach working with clients requesting Canadian English.   Our countries may...

Read More

3 English Morphs That Are Driving Me Crazy

Language & Editing

Don't get me wrong—I appreciate that the English language is constantly changing and evolving. And I know that my job as an editor requires me to recognize the difference between these micro-evolutions on one hand and plain errors on the other. But the academic in me can't help but grumble when I see these three increasingly common English morphs pop up in a text.   1. "Dilemma" Writers like to use the word "dilemma" as...

Read More

Writing Your Holiday Cards: Do's and Dont's

Language & Editing

Ahhh, the holidays. I don’t know about you, but I always love opening up the mailbox during the holiday season—there’s almost always a pretty envelope or two, containing thoughtful cards wishing me and mine well for the year ahead. You might send your own cards off to family and friends, perhaps even work colleagues, your boss, your references, etc. Your family might overlook a typo or two,...

Read More

Academic Writing: Sacrificing Information in the Name of "Gobbledygook"?

Language & Editing

Earlier this year, University of Toronto Press’ Journal of Scholarly Publishing featured a book review of Michael Billig’s Learn to Write Badly: How to Succeed in the Social Sciences (Cambridge University Press, 2013). In it, reviewer Stephen K. Donovan talks about academic writing and the unfortunate trend of unnecessarily big words and complicated sentence structures. Academic writing has never been easy reading; no one expects you to...

Read More

5 Best Grammar Blogs for Authors

Language & Editing

Grammar quiz: When is it appropriate to use “whom”? Answer: You would use "whom" when you refer to the object of a sentence. Use "who" when you are referring to the subject of a sentence. For example, it is "Whom do I love?" because you are asking about the object of the sentence—the target of your love!  So when is it OK to use "who"? If you were asking about...

Read More

Quirky Canadianisms: Canadian English as Our Cultural Heritage

Language & Editing

Lately there has been a fair bit of news coverage dedicated to Canadian English as a language—what it is, why it’s important, and how it fits in as part of our culture. But while our use of “eh” as a fitting end to a sentence and our (alleged) habit of pronouncing “about” as “aboot” might be what we’re most known for internationally, many Canadians might not realize some of...

Read More

American versus Canadian Spelling: It all Started with Noah

Language & Editing

Why do Canadians persist in spelling certain words the way we do? Is it a Canadian quirk that we keep all of our British “-our”endings but also borrow the “-izes” from our American neighbours? Maybe like the cliché often used to describe us — we’re just too darn nice. Maybe we just want to get along with everybody.   Maybe … but sometimes it is annoying to work with American...

Read More

When Text Speak Enters Our Spoken Conversations

Language & Editing

There’s no question that, for better or worse, texting has brought about a whole new kind of written communication. Certainly, the way we speak heavily influences the way we text. But what should we think about our increasing tendency to speak the way we text? Some Examples A former colleague of mine was fond of saying "BRB" when she left the office. While there's absolutely no doubt that she,...

Read More

A Quick Guide to 5 Online Grammar Resources

Language & Editing

As editors, we use style guides and resources for particular projects to ensure that we follow consistent guidelines. Every now and then acquaintances ask me for simple answers to questions about grammar and spelling. I often have to say that “there is no right or wrong response; the answer to the question will depend on a few factors. ” Yes, it’s true that sometimes there are clear answers when...

Read More

2 Simple, Everyday Vocabulary Rules

Language & Editing

 I’d like to take a look at two pairs of words that are increasingly, incorrectly interchanged. No, I’m not talking about your/you’re and it’s/its — not that it doesn’t hurt a little inside every time I read “your welcome” in online correspondence, or when a parking lot sign tells me that “Management is not responsible for any vehicle or it’s contents. ” No, these are two pairs of words that,...

Read More

A Halloween Word Treat from The Editing Company

Language & Editing

Mid-October is that wonderful time of year when the air takes on a fresh new chill, the leaves turn their rich autumn colours … and rubber bats hang in doorways, cotton cobwebs appear in corners, and cardboard cut-outs of black cats, jack-o-lanterns, and monsters peer out from the doors and windows of homes and stores.   It’s fairly well known that the word Halloween (now more commonly — and officially...

Read More