TEC Blog

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Ending 2018 with a Bang!

Office Happenings / Social Media & Community

It has been quite the whirlwind of a year at TEC! We’ve had a lot of changes throughout 2018, many of which have culminated just within the last few months. At times it seemed overwhelming, but now that the dust is settling, we’re back in the game and eager to get back to helping all our clients, and clients yet to come.   A New Office  Perhaps the biggest change this...

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Editing Business Writing for Precision and Clarity

Business

We have had a few calls recently from clients looking for help with business writing projects, so we thought we would repost this timeless blog to help others improve their business writing as well!  *****   Good business writing is clear and succinct. There are no unwanted words. The meaning is delivered with precision. The right tone, correct usage, and elimination of jargon strengthen the message. Rene Cappon, former...

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Web Citations: Headache Extraordinaire?

Editing

  Citing sources from the internet is something most academic writers do all the time; papers can be written without consulting a single sheet of paper. But citing web sources seems to be a continuing source of confusion, trouble, and headache.   Dynamic Development Part of the confusion comes from how citation styles have developed alongside the internet: no one knew exactly what place web sources would take in academic work, so...

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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...

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Move Over TIFF! 4 September Literary Events for Booklovers in Toronto

Books And Reading

    The summer is drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean the festivities are over! For booklovers out there, you’ll be happy to know that a number of literary festivals are only beginning to kick into high gear. Check out our list of FREE Toronto festivals you should check out before the summer’s up!  Pivot Reading Series – SEPTEMBER 13 8:00–10:00 PM Tranzac Club Donations are accepted   The Pivot Reading series is...

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“Don’t Comb the Giraffe”: A Review of Watch Your Tongue by Mark Abley

Book Reviews

Have you heard of any strange or amusing idioms, or perhaps have one you like to use? At TEC, we’re always interested in wordplay, so we were excited when we recently received an unexpected package at the office — a large envelope from Simon & Schuster Canada filled with pre-publication copies of Watch Your Tongue: What Our Everyday Sayings and Idioms Figuratively Mean by Mark Abley. We loved the...

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An Editor’s Place in Ebook Development: What We’ve Learned

EBook Technology & Services

Recently, Beth and I were able to partake in a webinar put on by Editors Canada, entitled “The Editor’s Place in Ebook Development. ” It was a fantastic learning experience, and the host, Kevin Callahan of BNGO Books, was a great teacher with a lot of knowledge to pass on to us. Here are some of the things we picked up from the webinar.   E-book or Epub? One of the...

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Confounding Confusables, Part III

Usage

    For centuries, questions of proper usage have provided editorial professionals fodder for debate. Although publishers’ styles are often defined by usage rules, such as never ending a sentence with a preposition, when exposed to a bit of research these rules are often revealed as illogical modern constraints placed on the historically flexible English language. That said, there are some usage rules that even staunch descriptivists must respect when...

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Talking about Pictures: Describing and Citing Artwork

Editing

  The publishing world has well-developed rules and guidelines for describing and citing work that exists as printed text. Things can be less clear for a writer when dealing with other kinds of cultural production. Visual art works, for instance, pose particular questions and challenges.   Description as Interpretation and Framing No matter how we go about describing the visual in words, the process inevitably involves imposing a certain way of...

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4 Twitter Tips from TEC's Social Media Coordinator

Social Media / Editing & Marketing

Being good at social media is important for everyone. And I mean everyone. From Starbucks to The Editing Company to your own personal account—recognizing the potential of a robust social media presence is key! For the rare breed of niche and underground businesses, not having some or all social media could potentially be a component of their brand. For the rest of us, social media efficiently tackles...

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The Nuts and Bolts of Strong Prose: Semicolons, Colons, and Dashes

Usage

    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...

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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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