TEC Blog

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Summertime Theatre Roundup!

Event

If you're looking for an intimate one-person show, a Mirvish-level musical, or a production somewhere between the two, Toronto is a great place to catch any kind of show. With a number of different venues and theatre companies to choose from, it can be difficult to see even half of the productions on offer each year.   The Big Names However, quality live theatre isn't confined by the boundaries of the...

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Ask the Editor: How Do I Get an Agent?

Publishing

  So, you’re moving into the finishing stages of writing your book and you’re beginning to think about acquiring an agent. At TEC, we work with non-fiction writers, academic and business writers, and recently I worked with an author on her memoir to help her shape her manuscript before sending to an agent.   Finding yourself an agent can be a huge step forward in getting your book...

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Commas: Curiosity and Concern

Usage

Commas, for any copy editor—or, for that matter, any copy writer—are a most familiar tool, as well as a potential source of frustration. Correcting punctuation for grammar and clarity is a key part of any copy editor’s job, but commas also play a role in shaping elements of writing that aren’t as simple as “correct” and “incorrect” usage. The comma, we’re often told, corresponds to a “slight pause”...

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Subject-Verb Agreement with Collective Nouns: Take 2

Usage

Back in September 2017, The Editing Company's own Barbara Kamienski wrote a great blog post about the linguistic challenges presented by subject-verb agreement. As Barbara points out, there are certain subjects that, especially when used in the same sentence, can make it difficult to determine whether verbs in any given construction should be plural or singular. One of Barbara's examples draws particular attention to this difficulty: None of the...

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A Post- Post

Editing / Usage

      The postgraduate student researching the rise of postmodernism in the postwar period found herself with post-traumatic stress disorder. A wealthy dealer gave the famous post-impressionist artist a post-dated cheque for his painting of a post-apocalyptic landscape. The soccer coach thought it would be best to postpone the weekly postgame festivities and throw one major postseason party instead.   The prefix “post,” it would seem, follows us everywhere. But...

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4 Tips for Using the Em-dash and En-dash and Finding Them on Your Keyboard

Usage

As a keen-eyed reader, you have no doubt noticed that those little horizontal lines between words and numbers come in varying lengths. As a keen-eyed typist, you'll also have noticed that your keyboard is equipped with only one key: the hyphen/minus key. And you may have observed that sometimes when you type in two hyphens to set off an interjection -- because you just know that a simple hyphen isn't up to...

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Editors Shouldn't Text

Editing & Technologies

We loved this blog when Nina first created it back in 2011. We are reposting it this month in honour of this month's TEC theme of comics! Check out last week's blog for Michael's take on creative heroines of the comic book industry, and this month's newsletter for more comic fun.   *** It's official: "LOL" has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. So has "OMG," for that matter....

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Super Women: Creative Heroines of the Comic Book Industry

Editing New Media

      The American comic book industry has historically been a male-dominated enterprise. The names of famous male artists, writers, inkers, and colourists come up over and over again. But, male-dominated as the American comic book industry is, a number of pioneering women have played important roles in creating or developing the characters and settings that make these episodic narratives what they are today.   In fact, there are so many...

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What’s the Matter with ibid.?

Editing / Style

The Latin word ibidem, better known these days by its short form ibid. , is one of the technical tools of academic writing and editing. Literally meaning "in the same place," it's used in footnotes and endnotes to mean that a note refers to the same source as the previous note. This little bit of Latin has long been a way of inducting a writer (in high school...

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3 Things I Learned about the Art of Editing a Comic

Editing New Media

Behind every delicious comic is a very sharp-eyed editor. Or at least I'd like to think so! I'm mostly a comic writer/illustrator, but over time I learned how to be a comic editor as well. As an editor, I learned that comic editing is a very finicky business. I've been sharing some of my comic-making conundrums with the staff at The Editing Company as I put together...

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3 (More) Ways to Avoid Repetition in Writing

Writing

  One of our more popular blogs is 3 Ways to Avoid Repetition in Writing, in which I discus how repetition in writing can disengage your reader from the flow of your work. In this follow-up blog, I add three more strategies for avoiding repetitive words and phrases that can help you write clear and engaging prose.   1.    Limit your research This probably seems counter-productive to some of you, but...

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On Dramaturgy, Substantive Editing’s Theatrical Cousin

Editing

dramaturgy n. 1 the art of theatrical production; the theory of dramatics. 2 the application of this.  dramaturgical adj.   ~Paperback Oxford Canadian Dictionary: Second Edition     Editors are the unsung heroes of the publishing industry, reading and re-reading tirelessly in an effort to improve others' writing. In the case of substantive editing, a book editor might spend years working with an author, and, though they receive a salary and...

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Book Review: Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples

Book Reviews

      It feels appropriate that my first post for the TEC blog is a review of a style guide. In the two months since I've started working at TEC I've spent plenty of time looking through guides like the APA Publication Manual and the massive Chicago Manual of Style. The best style guides are more than a source of rules and answers for specific questions about formatting and referencing:...

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A Review of Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation by Ammon Shea

Book Reviews

    Ammon Shea's Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation (Penguin, 2014) is a usage guide of sorts, but far from being a prescriptive guide like Fowler's A Dictionary of Modern English Usage or Bremner's Words on Words, Shea's book records a variety of grammar and usage peeves, and, by examining their roots, exposes them as unfounded compulsions foisted on English users by grammar scolds.   Having previously written Reading the OED:...

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100 Invoices: How I Grew My Position at TEC

Business

Recently at TEC, I celebrated something of a milestone – my 100th invoice to the company! Maybe it doesn’t seem like that much of a big deal, only 100 invoices, but I invoice every two weeks, so (with vacations and other things) that’s over 200 weeks spent here at TEC. In fact, my four-year anniversary with TEC is coming up in a month.   A Little History I started at TEC...

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To Err is Human: Take Book Covers, for Example

Book Design

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. Really? While the saying may be metaphorically true, in a literal sense, as any book publishing professional can tell you, if a book cover doesn’t give you a pretty good idea of what’s inside, it has failed. A book cover’s visual appeal needs to be such that any prospective book buyer can see at a glance that the...

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Notes from a Town & Country Editor and Writer

Editing

  Having worked as a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Grey County, and now the Hamilton area, I've had the opportunity to learn about some of the pros and cons of doing editorial work in both rural and urban settings. As a returning blogger for The Editing Company, I'm glad that I get to share my experiences serving clarity, consistency, and correctness, and I hope that reading about my...

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5 Tips for Writing Engaging Nonfiction

Writing

I'm open to reading almost anything ­– fiction, nonfiction – as long as I know from the first sentence or two that this is a voice I want to listen to for a good long while. It has much to do with imagery and language, a particular perspective, the assured knowledge of the particular universe the writer has created. - Amy Tan   One of the most important things a writer...

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Ask the Editor: Editing with Nervous First-Time Writers

It’s been a while since I’ve written an “Ask the Editor” blog post! This time, I’m going to talk about how to make the editing process easier for nervous or skittish first-time writers.   While much of this advice might be geared towards how editors can work with writers, these tips can be very beneficial for writers having their work edited for the first time as well. If you are...

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A New Holiday Tradition: Reading Great Holiday Books

Books And Reading

As the holiday season moves into full swing, you probably have holiday traditions that you enjoy with your family and friends, or even some traditions that you do just for yourself. Holiday traditions always seem to help you adopt a more festive mood, no matter what life throws your way! One of the most popular holiday traditions is probably watching holiday films – Elf, A Christmas Carol, Scrooged, It’s...

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The Essential Gift Guide for Editors: 2017

It can be difficult to choose gifts for editors (or writers!) – choosing a book is often too risky or nerve-wracking, but if not a book, then…what? We’ve compiled some out-of-the-box ideas to add to our list of great gifts for the editor in your life, or even a friend who loves the written word!   WORD OF THE DAY CALENDAR These calendars are great because there are just so many of...

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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...

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10 Amazing Things about TEC Turning 10!

Business

In September, The Editing Company began its 10th year of business. We have been celebrating our anniversary by offering 10% discounts, 10 complementary 1-hour consults, and 10 chances to win TEC swag through our Twitter raffles. Our team also had an extra-long lunch (on the Company) at a local restaurant.   Year 10 will continue until next September, and we will continue to offer excellent services, building on...

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Zero to What? How to Treat Numbers in Different Editing Styles: A Cheat Sheet

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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