TEC Blog

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Less Is Not More: How to Write Longer Sentences (if you really have to)

Writing

  Strunk and White's The Elements of Style is a classic, a compendium of pithy advice for writers who want to get their ideas across clearly and succinctly. Their Rule # 13, "Omit needless words," sounds like a slam-dunk: just do it. But how do you decide what's needless? Where do you start?   Well, sometimes working your way backwards helps – like taking apart a clock so you can...

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Put the Brakes on Bad Breaks!

Do you know the appropriate place to break a word like "friendship" or "disenfranchised"? Word breaks aren't something many people think about anymore, now that we have word processing programs and software that can handle those details for us. But before that technology was available to us, words had to be broken manually from one line to the next (think typesetting, or typing on typewriters). At TEC, I often...

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Stumped by the Subjunctive

Usage

I recently subscribed to the Globe and Mail for the Friday and Saturday editions. Friday's paper includes the Report on Business the last Friday of each month, and is a magazine I want to read more regularly. The first issue I received wasn't a disappointment (June 2017). The cover story took an inside look at the changeover of CEOs at Rogers and made for a compelling read....

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An Insider’s Tale of the Canadian Opera Scene: A Review of Dr. Bartolo’s Umbrella

Book Reviews

Dr. Bartolo's Umbrella and Other Tales from My Surprising Operatic Life By Christopher Cameron Published by Seraphim Editions, 2017   Former TEC editor Christopher Cameron's Dr. Bartolo's Umbrella is an entertaining, informative, and cheeky look at an individual's experiences working in Canadian opera. The book takes the reader through the journey of Cameron's unlikely musical beginnings, lucky breaks, hard work, and various roles within the Canadian classical music scene. ...

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Back from the Archives: Editing & Hyphens: Tips on Hyphenating Your Writing

Editing / Usage

This week, we wanted to re-post one of our most consistently popular blogs: Barbara's 2015 blog on hyphenation! Even two years later, it's always at the top of our "most viewed" lists -- clearly, tips about hyphenation are never out of season! We hope it reaches some new writers seeking guidance and helps them out too.     They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. ...

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A Crash Course on Political Language from Roosevelt by way of Trump to Orwell

Language & Editing

    The political world gets progressively denser every day, especially the world of US politics. And, though Canadians often pretend at being secure from the political meltdown south of the 49th parallel, the reality is that it's incumbent upon those of us who live north of the border to learn all we can about both the Canadian and US systems of governance . and propaganda.   Participating in, or at...

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Misplaced Modifiers: How to Find Them and How to Lose Them

Editing

    Remember Groucho Marx's famous quip? "One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I'll never know. " What makes this joke work is, of course, the misplaced modifier "in my pyjamas. " But what if Groucho hadn't added that second sentence? Would you have noticed a problem?    What Are Misplaced Modifiers? Put simply, misplaced modifiers are words, phrases, or clauses separated from...

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Guardians of the Lexicons: A Guide to Editors Canada’s 2017 Conference

Event

    With April's end, we draw ever closer to Editors Canada's 2017 conference, entitled "Guardians of the Lexicons. " With just over a month until the conference's start (the conference runs from June 9 to June 11), panelists and presenters are likely busy working out the kinks in their presentations and finalizing their travel arrangements for their trip to Gatineau, Quebec, where the conference will be held.   But what will the...

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How Public Speaking Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Guest Blogger

    Standing up and standing out is easier than you may think!   Picture this scene: You are speaking confidently in front of forty people in your company, delivering a special presentation. Your heart is beating fast, but as you scan the audience, you see smiles and looks of appreciation on the faces of your colleagues. You know all is going very well; you feel confident, proud, appreciated, and skilled.   Now,...

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The Evolving Lexicon of Web Jargon

Editing & Technologies

Leafing through a copy of The Editorial Eye, Vol. 17, No. 9 from September 1994, I noticed a helpful article on abbreviations for technical terms. In it, Candee Wilson showcases suggestions from a number of Eye readers on how to appropriately abbreviate the terms kilobyte, kilobit, megabyte, and megabit.   To avoid confusion, some readers suggested using "kbyte" and "kbit. " IBM's practice in 1994 was to use...

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A Little Bit of Editing, A Little Bit of Proofreading, A Little Bit of Formatting: The Final Steps in Polishing Your Dissertation

Editing

TEC has had a number of dissertations cross our desks over the past few months, and working on these important documents is always a process that requires a lot of attention and an eye for detail. We take editing dissertations (and theses as well) very seriously: when we work on such a document, we know the work we do can have huge impact on our client's life. We...

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The Value of Having Your Thesis or Dissertation Edited by a Professional Editor

Editing

  Having your thesis or dissertation edited by a professional editor can be an incredibly valuable investment. After all, a graduate degree is typically a once-in-a-lifetime venture, and is meant to be foundational to your future career. A professional editor is paid to spend substantial amounts of time and energy (something even the best supervisors don't have a lot of) reading your work and providing thorough editorial feedback on...

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Myths & Superstitions of the Theatre: Where Do They Come From?

Language & Editing

    I'm set to play Jack Manningham in The Tipling Stage Company's production of Gaslight. And because the play, Patrick Hamilton's psychological thriller about a husband trying to drive his wife mad in order to benefit from her committal to an insane asylum, is set in Victorian England, I've been thinking about the etymologies of various theatrical terms, myths, and superstitions.   As a theatre student in my 20s, I was...

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Beware the Ides of March…Why?

Event

  If you haven't looked at a calendar yet today, you might not know that today, March 15, is actually the Ides of March. I'm sure you've heard of it before, but what exactly is this special day all about?   History of the Ides of March The origin story of the Ides of March is actually pretty nondescript. Ides was one of the ancient markers used to reference dates in relation...

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A Little Punctuation Goes a Long Way: Managing Your Commas

Usage

    Few punctuation marks are misused as often as the comma. Sadly, many semi-professional or hobby writers of today seem to think that the comma is meant to signify vocal pauses. But, like any punctuation, the comma has specific uses: none of them involve noting vocal pauses.   In The Editorial Eye Vol. 25, No. 11, I saw a comma usage aptitude test entitled, “Be Conservative but Canny...

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Free to Read? Let's Not Take it for Granted

Books And Reading

  The Book and Periodical Council's Freedom to Read Week, beyond simply being an annual event that showcases and remembers banned books, is an excellent time to consider the merits, or lack thereof, of broadly applied censorship. Last week, as we sat in the office doing exactly that, we fell to wondering how many banned or challenged books we had read or might even have on our bookshelves at home....

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Celebrating Freedom to Read Week

Event

Next week, from February 26 to March 4, we will be observing a very important event in Canadian culture: Freedom to Read Week. Freedom to Read Week is a project run by the Book and Periodical Council (BPC), which is an umbrella organization for Canadian associations that are or whose members are primarily involved with the writing, editing, translating publishing, producing, distributing, lending, marketing, reading, and selling of written words.   More...

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Have Questions? Book a 15-Minute Complimentary Consult with Our Senior Editor

Editing

  We at TEC welcome phone calls from our potential clients looking for guidance about the editing process and the cost of editing. When we receive calls during our business hours (10 to 6, Monday to Friday), we try to provide as much information as possible but do not always have the time for a long conversation. Unfortunately, if the office is busy, we may have to keep the...

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Face-to-Face Business Networking Tips for Editors

Event

  Recently The Editing Company team participated in the "How to Meet People in a Room Full of Strangers" webinar hosted by Editors Canada. Cheryl Scoffield, the presenter, is a networking coach who shared tips on a number of different strategies by which to meet and follow up with clients and business contacts. Her key piece of advice: "Take action!"   Attending the Networking Event This call to action refers to, among...

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Revisiting Transitions: What They Are and How To Use Them

Writing

Well, it's February 2017! We're solidly in Canadian winter, but we'll also be transitioning into spring soon (we can hope). In the spirit of great transitions, we've decided to revisit this great post about proper use of transitions in writing! We hope it helps you.   While drafting the February edition of the TEC newsletter, I found myself flipping through Beth's collection of Editorial Eye back issues, searching for inspiration for our...

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The Book Is Dead! Long Live the Book!

Book Reviews

A Review of The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time by Keith Houston     Life in the Digital Lane It doesn't really matter where you go today, whether you're riding the subway, sitting in a coffee shop, or crossing the street, it seems that almost everyone's eyes are riveted to the screen of some device or another. Texts, emails, games, movies, TV shows . ...

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Words of the Year and Where They Come From

Language & Editing

        What do the words Y2K, plutoed, tweet, e-, they, and bailout have in common?   Simple. They have all, at one point, been named as "Words of the Year. " You may have noticed this tradition, occurring around the end of each year. Dictionaries and websites come out with their idea of what word best represents the past year. Some of the words of...

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An Editor’s New Year’s Reading Resolutions

Books And Reading

The new year is a time for reflection on the past year: what you did, how you grew, and what you learned. It's also a time to reflect on the coming year and what you'd like to achieve. New Year's resolutions are big -- look at any store catalogue in January, and you'll see exercise equipment and accessories and kitchen appliances for making healthy food for sale in...

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The Editor’s Answer to Holiday Withdrawal

Office Happenings

    The holiday season has ended, and, after countless glasses of eggnog, mulled wine, and holiday-themed beer, many revelers are happy to trade in their wine glasses for water glasses. But, every year there's a festive contingent who can't bear the holidays' end. These hardy folk who suffer from party withdrawal in January should be happy to read about the trials and triumphs involved in assembling a functional cocktail...

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