TEC Blog

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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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10 Signs You Need (…OK, Are Beyond Needing) a New Laptop

Editing & Technologies

While some of us writers and editors pride ourselves on being early adopters, others may have a slight “not-fix-it-’til-it’s-broke” mentality when it comes to our technology situation. It’s understandable —after all, you and your computer spend so many hours working together, it can be easy to get attached and press your luck way past its best-before date. And as long as your outdated device isn’t affecting the quality...

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E-Smart Editors & New Marketing Technologies: Introducing HubSpot

Editing & Technologies

Here at The Editing Company, I wear many hats: editor, proofreader, layout designer, and social media editor. The last one links up to an initiative that senior editor Beth and I recently took on: working with inbound marketing firm HubSpot. Beth became interested in HubSpot because the company's software offers a number of tools (along with a vast amount of learning resources) that can help us build our...

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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...

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WOTS the Deal with Brunch?

Books And Reading

Living in downtown Toronto provides no scarcity of opportunities to both observe and participate in performances of middle-classness, or what I’ve come to tongue-in-cheekedly refer to as “class acts. ” So when TEC senior editor Beth proposed that this year TEC once again support The Word On The Street by “friending” an author who would be speaking at the festival, and circulated to our team of editors a list of...

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Back to the Future II: A 1990s Technological Overview

Editing

Leafing through past issues of The Editorial Eye, I am offered a glimpse of what it might have been like to be an editor in the 1990s. These issues feature regular columns with titles like “Software FYI” and “Untangling the Web. ” They are full of reviews of grammar-checking software like Grammatik and CorrecText—even Strunk and White’s electronic version of the Elements of Style—as well as recommendations for search...

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Back to the Future: Tips for Editors from The Editorial Eye (January 1990)

Editing

The Editorial Eye was a professional newsletter for editors and writers published by the Editorial Experts, Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia. I began subscribing to the newsletter in 1990 when I launched my editing career. Topics covered in each of the issues ranged from copy editing to proofreading to substantive editing to newsletter design to technological developments. There were grammar tips and grammar glitches, book reviews and word...

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What's Up @ TEC! September/October Edition

Office Happenings / Social Media & Community

Such a great summer of conferences, mild weather, FIFA games, reading vacations, meditation retreats, bachelorette parties, 5K runs, TIFF … and now we are shifting into our fall season that begins on September 21 with Toronto’s exceptional book fair, The Word On The Street.   At WOTS this year, TEC has “friended” Shawn Micallef, author of The Trouble with Brunch: Work, Class and the Pursuit of Leisure, published by Coach House...

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3 Mini Book Reviews, Or What This Book Editor Did on Her Vacation

Books And Reading

Ahh, summer: a time to kick back, relax, and enjoy the sunshine (even though here in Toronto, our summer has been…not as hot as we usually prefer). A time when how you relax is up to you—some escape to the cottage every weekend they can, others plan a trip down to an island paradise, taking advantage of the travel off-season. Some people like to check out a new...

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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...

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What's Up @ TEC! July/August Edition

Office Happenings / Social Media & Community

It is mid-July and FIFA has come and gone (sorry, Argentina)!   In June, we attended several informative professional conferences and reported our findings in a series of blogs: the Berkshire Conference on Women Historians; the Editors’ Association of Canada’s Conference; and the Indexing Society’s Annual Conference.   Team editor Lesley-Anne ran her first 5K ever (congratulations, Lesley-Anne!) and is training for her second run of the season. Our intern...

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Journaling Isn’t Just for Tween Girls & Writers Anymore

Business

Part of my job here at TEC is keeping up with some of the company’s social media outlets—namely, Pinterest and senior editor Beth’s business Twitter account. This means that a big chunk of my Wednesday each week is spent scouring the Internet for new stories, entrepreneurial tips and tricks, and out-of-the-box business stories to share with others.   I read a lot of business articles and online information that offer...

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Adapt and Flourish: The Editors’ Association of Canada Hosts a Milestone Conference

Editing

“Tracking Change: e-Merging Methods and Markets” was the theme of the Editors’ Association of Canada Conference held in Toronto this past June. Well over 200 delegates from across the country attended informative sessions, panels, and workshops on topics pertinent to navigating the changing publishing landscape.   The key message: adapt and flourish. Learn the new technologies, explore new ways of doing things, and build a strategy. In case...

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LOCATOR! LOCATOR! LOCATOR! The Indexing Society of Canada’s Annual Conference

Indexing

Back in 1990, Craig Brown, columnist for the Times Saturday Review, wrote, “When I tell people that I am working on an index for a book, they tend to hang their heads in sorrow. ” Reaction to the news that I was planning to attend this year’s two-day indexing conference in early June was similar. What, my friends wondered, could possibly be the attraction of an event with the...

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Quiet! There’s an Editor at Work …

Office Happenings

The Library   One of my first jobs was working in a library in downtown Toronto. Every morning after riding the packed subway then dodging pedestrians and honking cars, I slipped through the great doors and entered a world of peace … and quiet. Outside, the furious city roared on, while I found refuge in a soaring atrium that rose up seven floors. Carpet hugged the stairs from top...

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4 Surprising Side Effects of Being an Editor

Editing

So, you’ve decided you want to be an editor. You love books, working with words, and maybe even enjoy all the grammar rules that might drive other people insane. You have visions of working on beautiful manuscripts, possibly while sitting in front of a fire, or at a great big desk stacked with books. I know you’ve had these visions, because I had them too.   Working...

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My Sojourn at The Berkshire Conference of Women Historians

Event

The 16th Berkshire Conference of Women Historians was held in Toronto this past week. It was the first time in its 70-year history that the conference was held outside the United States. The host institution was University College on the University of Toronto campus. Over a four-day period — Thursday to Sunday — 2,000 delegates from around the world met to discuss and explore the dynamic history...

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An Un-“touch”ing Experience with E-Readers

Technology

For months, I’ve been pondering the notion of buying an e-reader: should I buy one, and if so, which? I’m so late to this party, and still, I’m standing outside on the porch, my index finger hovering in front of the doorbell, reluctant to push it. When I mentioned my ponderings to TEC senior editor Beth, she offered to let me borrow TEC’s resident e-readers, a Kindle Touch and a Kobo...

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What's Up @ TEC! May/June Edition

Office Happenings

Finally! Spring has arrived in Toronto, and with it comes a host of professional conferences: the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women runs from May 22 to 25; the Editors’ Association of Canada’s Conference is scheduled for June 6 to 8; the Indexing Society’s annual conference is June 5 and 6; and Book Summit is on June 19. For more info, visit our homepage.   Meanwhile, here at The...

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The Subversive Copy Editor: A Short Review

Book Reviews

  Back when I was learning the nuts and bolts of copyediting, one of the tenets our instructor came back to repeatedly was “The Five Cs”: our goal as copy editors should always be to render text that is correct, consistent, clear, concise, and complete.  So when I spotted a slim volume entitled The Subversive Copy Editor on a colleague’s shelf, I was instantly intrigued.   Editorial subterfuge? Track changes turned...

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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...

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My Second Beginning as an Editor

Office Happenings

I call my decision to change careers in mid-life my “second beginning. ” I realize it’s an oxymoron, but for me it defines the place where I now am. It’s also about coming full circle and being a late bloomer. I grew up surrounded by books and newspapers, and I was a secret writer who dreamed of having her first novel published by the age of 21. ...

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