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At the ninth annual Communication Central conference this past weekend, I attended Working Well in Word, presented by Editorial Inspirations’ Ben Davis, a certified Microsoft Word specialist. In Word, it seems there at least three ways to do things, and both Davis and attendees shared a lot of little-used features and shortcuts with each other.
For example, most of us are familiar with the left align, center, and right align tab choices in the tool bar:
How do you do that thing that you do? Today’s News Roundup looks at being funny in scientific writing, communication with authors, and identifying plagiarism.
- “It’s No Joke: Humor Rarely Welcome in Research Write-Ups”: Is levity ever appropriate in scientific writing? (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
- “Language Matters: How to Communicate More Effectively With Your Team”: These tips apply equally well to communicating with authors. (HubSpot)
- “Is It Original? An Editor’s Guide to Identifying Plagiarism”: Four questions to ask to help determine whether you’re dealing with plagiarism. (...
“Establish a ballpark as soon as possible.” That’s what Greg Ioannou, editor–mentor to many, told me when I complained about spending hours on a detailed and accurate estimate only to have the prospective client tell me that my estimate was ten times more than they were prepared to spend.
For one-tenth of that estimate, what I’ll give you is the detailed estimate.
For me, presenting a ballpark estimate “as soon as...Read More »
The freelancer’s dilemma is whether the training and networking opportunity is worth the cost and time away from work. “Yes” is almost always the correct answer to this question.
This weekend is the ninth-annual Communication’s Central conference in Rochester, New York. Started by freelance writer and editor Ruth Thaler-Carter, the Build Your Business conference brings together an impressive number of leaders in the field, sharing their knowledge about starting and maintaining a freelance editorial business.
Speakers this year include...Read More »
Andy Hollandbeck returns with his Tech Tip series for editors navigating the online world of headlines and SEO.
Last week, I introduced the Optimized Headline Dilemma (OHD), a common conundrum among thoughtful online content editors. An editor faces the OHD when she must choose between two good headlines, one optimized for search and one optimized for social media.
More often than not, one can solve the OHD by using both headlines, and my previous post outlined one of the simplest ways to do so: Putting the second (social media) headline into the post image.
This week's solution to the OHD isn't so simple, but its...Read More »
My favorite word is autumnal, and I must force myself to use it sparingly as the air cools and the trees shake off their green pigment to reveal the bright colors underneath. I like the earthy sound of the word, and I like the youthful images it conjures in my mind.
In British English, fall is an unusual, perhaps archaic, choice. It’s the Americans and Canadians who speak of either autumn or fall, a much more explicit word for the season of falling leaves. The British may speak disdainfully of Americans’ use of the British invention soccer, but in my experience, they are fond of our fall.
Forrest Wickman wrote of these two...Read More »
Zombie rules are all around us: those rules of usage that have little to no connection with reality. Today’s News Roundup slays three of them.
- “Stigmatized and Still Alive: English in the Time of ‘Ain’t’”: Proof: grammatical correctness leads to happiness. (Harmless Drudgery)
- “Usage Matters: How to Beg a Question”: Has the newer definition gained acceptance? (The American Heritage Dictionary)
- “Seriously, What’s the Problem With Sentence Adverbs?”: Make your sentence adverbs pass the ambiguity test. (The Editors’ Weekly)
Today’s News Roundup has tips for working as a freelancer, why you should collaborate, and how to behave ethically.
- “#ACESchat: Tips for Freelancers”: Our own Katharine O’Moore-Klopf shares her best tips for working as a freelance editor, including “be truthful with yourself about whether you can handle uncertainty.” (Storify)
- “Why Freelancers Should Consider Collaboration”: What can collaboration do for you? For starters, you can offer more services without increasing your workload. (Freelancers Union Blog)
- “On the Basics: Thou Shall Behave Ethically — A 4th Commandment for Editors”: Ruth Thaler-...
Each time you use an exclamation mark, leap in the air with pompoms.
Feel right? Go ahead and use it!
Feel silly? Use a period instead.
Exclamation points should be reserved for actual instances of outrage or exuberance. I have been applying this “jump in the air with pompoms” test to my own writing and, I have to say, it’s surprising how often I do really want to leap. Or should I say, I’m surprised...Read More »
It’s a great time to be a copyeditor, isn’t it?
No, really, it is.
Think about it. There is now more copy being written than ever before, thanks to the web and digital publishing, which means continued work for us. More folks than ever seem interested in language and usage, and as a result there’s plenty being written about language—from main stream coverage in the New York Times and Slate to more industry-related publications like Schwa Fire and Copyediting.
We even have our own holidays: National Grammar Day and today, National Punctuation Day....Read More »