Writing headlines takes a combination of creativity and skill. In our new weekly blog post, headline-writer extraordinaire Matthew Crowley teaches you how to write headlines that will encourage your audience to read on. His inaugural post is our Tip of the Week.
Last week, I looked at what the dictionaries and style guides have to say about the structure x-year-olds, as in We hosted a party for eight 10-year-olds. Those references that listed it used the hyphenated version, but I have a habit of using it without hyphens: 10 year olds.
In my Copyediting III course this past spring, one of my students wanted to know why I had marked on her editing test that 24-year-olds should be 24 year olds. Doesn’t the phrase contain hyphens?
As happens with copyeditors sometimes, I had made the correction reflexively. My thinking was that the x-year-olds form, where x is a number, is a noun, so hyphens aren’t needed. But the student’s question made me stop and think. And I couldn’t answer my student without some research first.
In April, Copyediting began a year-long celebration of 25 years of publishing and training for copyeditors. We’re proud to still be here, enlightening copyeditors and helping them do their jobs better, no matter how the industry changes.
Copyeditors are word people. We push away numbers as though they were plague-ridden. I make sure, then, to teach fact-checking math in my Copyediting III class. I want my students to become copyeditors who don’t blanch at the sight of an equation.
During the math lesson discussion this spring, several students had some great ideas about how to approach numbers, how to fact-check them better, and how to decide which tools copyeditors can use to work with numbers better.
Last week in the EAE Backroom, a Facebook group for editors, Sophie Hutton-Squire wanted to know if she had more than one Curly Wurly (a British candy) whether she would have Curly Wurlys or Curly Wurlies. In addition to making us all hungry, the comment provoked an interesting discussion of how we deal with trademarks, particularly when they’re created from irregulars.