TEC Blog

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Ask the Editor: What to do with my book idea?

Publishing

  Are you thinking about self-publishing a book? Many people feel they have a book idea rattling around in their head, just waiting to be written. If you are one of those people and you decide that now is the time to get that book onto the page, I have some things you might want to think about.     First, if you would like to write this book just for the...

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3 Ways Editors Can Keep Current

Editing / Grammar

At this year's EAC conference, a major theme was professional development and keeping up-to-date. Just as a physicist must keep abreast of advances and innovations in her field, so too must the editor keep up with the constant evolution of language. As keynote speaker Carol Fisher Saller pointed out, you may have learned to never split infinitives (see what I did there?), but that was twenty years ago....

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Editors Go Global: Inspiration at the Keynote Address

Editing / Usage

Last week was a very exciting event for editors in Canada (and around the world)--the 2015 EAC International Conference, "Editing Goes Global," was held in Toronto. Organized and hosted by the Editors' Association of Canada, this  was the first-ever global conference of editors, and obviously TEC staff jumped at the chance to attend! There were so many great seminars, it was hard to choose which to sit in on,...

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Ben McNally’s 45 Books in 45 Minutes

Books And Reading

On Wednesday, June 10, I attended the Summer Edition of "45 Books in 45 Minutes" at Ben McNally Books in Toronto. This semi-annual event is a must for those wishing to keep abreast of the latest fiction and non-fiction publications. Advertised as a "quick and informative rundown of the best, or most talked about, books of the season," in 45 minutes Ben McNally and Lynn Thomson provide you...

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What's Up @ TEC! June/July 2015 Edition

Office Happenings

  There are no words I can use to apologize for the hiatus in the bi-monthly updates from TEC. Since January/February a few things have happened!   New Editor: In April, Chris Cameron joined our editing team as academic and non-fiction editor. We welcome him and look forward to having him on board.   New Editing Services: TEC is pleased to announce a new service for writers of English as a Second...

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Ask the Editor: How Do I Prepare for My First Meeting with An Editor?

Editing / Editor/writer

  In the last “Ask the Editor” blog, I talked about bringing an editor on board before you’ve even started writing the book, and I pointed out how using your editor in this way can help make your book better from the first word you write. If that struck a chord with you, read on!    This week, I’ll be talking about how you, as an author, can prepare for your first...

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4 Small Misses: Error Spotting on the Subway Ride to Work

Usage

Ever wonder what editors do while they ride the subway on their way to work? One engaging pastime is to read subway posters for minor errors. The other morning I spotted these four. See if you can identify them. “A simple solution to a sophisticated look. ”                –An Outdoor Deck Company “Paying more for less...

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Ask the Editor: Why Work with an Editor during the Writing Process?

Editing / Editor/writer

So, you want to write a book. You’ve got the idea in your head, and a vague plan of how to move forward. But how do you get started? Finding an Editor to Write With Many authors seek out an editor before they have even started writing their book. The reasoning is that an editor can help you as you move through the writing process: she/he will keep you accountable, provide real...

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3 Quick Tips for Editing Canadian Numbers

Editing Numbers

When I was in elementary school and learning about measurements in the 1990s, my teachers used to tell us, “Don’t get too used to using inches! By the time you grow up, we’ll have changed over to the metric system!” So we learned our measurements with trepidation – but all for naught, it seems! In fact, according to Wikipedia, the United States is one of only three countries that do...

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4 (More) Commonly Misused Words

Usage

Studying philosophy has given me a special appreciation for logical words and the work they do. Some of these words, however, are commonly misused. (I already touched on a few of them in my last blog post. ) Here are some more pointers!  “Infer” and “Imply” The confusion between the verbs “infer” and “imply” is widespread. You might see something like this, for example, and think nothing of it:  “Her...

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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...

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Editing & Hyphens: Tips on Hyphenating Your Writing

Editing / Usage

They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So when I recently came upon a text riddled with hyphens popped in willy-nilly where they didn't belong, I felt a bit sad (moderating my emotions in accordance with John Benbow's words of advice: "If you take hyphens seriously, you will surely go mad"). If only the author had known the basics of hyphenation! Sure, we all know the overarching rule: hyphens...

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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...

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Book Review: Elisabeth de Mariaffi’s The Devil You Know

Book Reviews

  While reading through the January/February issue of Quill and Quire, Beth came across a review of a title that sounded so interesting, she bought it right away (at Book City on the Danforth) and brought it to the office as an “office copy. ” A book we at TEC could all take a turn reading. The title? The Devil You Know, by Elisabeth de Mariaffi.   I was lucky enough...

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First Things First: Building a Good Author-Editor Relationship

Editing / Editor/writer

Recently, we posted our second eBook publication, The Author's Guide to the Pre-Publishing Editing Process. In this blog and a few to follow, we want to offer a few insights that are included in the guide. Insights that can help you work your way through the editing process. You can download the full Guide here.   Keeping Control of Your Work during the Editorial Process When an author is...

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What's Up @ TEC! January/February Edition

Office Happenings / Social Media & Community

Happy New Year to all! We hope you had a safe, meaningful, and enjoyable holiday season, and that getting back to the usual grind hasn’t been too arduous.   Here at The Editing Company, we enjoyed a “Holiday Adventure” that took us to Ben McNally Books on Bay Street for an afternoon of browsing and book shopping, followed by an early dinner at The Gabardine: Fine Grub and Libations Restaurant. ...

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Proofreading: Nobody Is Prefcet

Proofreading

You know the feeling, don’t you? You’ve composed an exquisitely worded email, tinkered with the phrasing to get it just right, and read it through several times to make sure it’s error-free. You’ve clicked on Send, and just as you’re about to lift your finger off the mouse, you spot it: an egregious typo that is irrevocably on its way once you lift your finger—which you’ll have to do...

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5 Chicago-Style Citations for the Web-Savvy Editor

Editing / Style

As 2015 rolls around, our use of social media continues to grow. Now, more than ever before, authors (both academic and non-academic) are citing social media sources such as Twitter posts, blog comments, podcasts, and YouTube videos in their work.     The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is particularly vague on how to format these modern kinds of citations as endnotes or footnotes. Luckily for you, we’ve done the...

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Perfection: A Perfect Trap

Editing / Editor/writer

Here at The Editing Company, we occasionally have to answer a familiar question from an inquiring caller: “How can you guarantee perfection?” This is an excellent question, and one I’d like to take a few minutes to discuss.     How Can We Guarantee Perfection? Well, the short answer is that perfection cannot be guaranteed—a fact that holds true for pretty much every other profession out there (and life in general, actually). ...

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What's Up @ TEC! [November]/December Edition

Office Happenings / Social Media & Community

Why the square brackets around November? Because we were so busy that the end of November was upon us before we knew it. Of course, this is a wonderful thing. The only small drawback is that I fell behind in my writing schedule. Enough excuses, right? So what’s new since September/October? We’ve completed several copy editing and proofreading projects and started up a number of new manuscripts for...

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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,...

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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...

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What Is Copy Editing, Really?

Editing / Editor/writer

  Editing. It sounds like a simple process, but what many people don’t realize is there are actually a few types of editing that aim to accomplish different things. The different levels involved are: copy editing, stylistic editing, and more in-depth substantive editing. You may not always need every level of editing on your work, but the one that is needed most often is copy editing. But what is...

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The Apostrophe Rules: A Raging Debate

Usage

At a recent social gathering, a woman I had just met cornered me. So, I was an editor? Where, she demanded to know, did I stand on the possible abolition of the apostrophe? The debate currently raging had left her uncertain, and she wanted to hear an expert opinion from the horse’s mouth. (Thanks. ) Or might that soon be horses mouth? I mumbled something about how, yeah, a...

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