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Today’s News Roundup collects grammar and usage rules that we’ve often grasped the wrong end of. Get on the right side of these rules, and improve today’s editing!
- “Steven Pinker: 10 ‘Grammar Rules’ It’s OK to Break (Sometimes)”: “Ten items or less” is OK. Really. (The Guardian)
- “Same Difference”: Uncommon needn't mean “wrong.” (The Stroppy Editor)
- “Can ‘Wrong’ Be an Adverb?”: It can, and here’s why. (Grammar Underground blog)
Last day to camp or boat, first day to indulge in pumpkin spice lattes, end of the summer season, beginning of the fall semester, a celebration of industry, a day of rest -- no matter what it means to you, Labor Day weekend is upon us here in the U.S.
Many of my fellow freelancers will join me in making it another working weekend. Others will join our office-dwelling mates in the enjoyment of a long holiday weekend. Whichever your schedule allows this year, take a moment to reflect on projects well done, to treasure colleagues well met, and to appreciate the sometimes anonymous workers in both familiar and unfamiliar industries that keep our world moving forward.
To correctly solve our Labor Day Wordoku, make...Read More »
Mignon Fogarty has given millions of people greater confidence in their ability to follow the confusing conventions of our language. To do that, she became a pioneer in podcasting, built the Quick and Dirty Tips empire, and developed a successful brand as Grammar Girl.
Now, she’ll give some of that confidence to college journalism students. Fogarty started this week as the Reynolds Chair in Media Entrepreneurship at the Reynolds School of Journalism and Advanced Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“I taught my first class Monday and the students were great,” she said in an email. “After working from home for many years, I'm also enjoying having colleagues I see in person.”...Read More »
The 6.0 earthquake that hit the Napa Valley and destroyed some barrels of wine had a predictable aftereffect: the trotting out of the uncommon word temblor. Temblor is the favorite second-reference word among journalists for earthquake, and it seems to have little utility elsewhere.
I tweeted this bit of advice on the word, which is sometimes rendered incorrectly as tremblor (both tremble and temblor trace their roots to the Latin tremulus).
Temblor means earthquake. It’s Spanish (temblor de tierra) for tremble or shake. Tremblor is a variant that’s best avoided.
To this, linguist Neal Whitman...Read More »
Etymological fallacies, colorful phrases, and new words: all in today’s News Roundup.
- “Guest Post: The Lord, the Bishop, and the Harlot: An Etymological Fallacy”: The true meaning of a word is what it originally meant. Right? (A Thing About Words)
- “Mad as a Box of Frogs? Phrases That Suddenly Become Popular”: Don’t miss the memo on these colorful phrases. (About Words)
- “Adorbs New Words Added to OxfordDictionaries.com – WDYT?”: Did a millennial write that novel you’re editing? Oxford Dictionaries has a translation for you. (OxfordWords)
If you’ve been reading my columns for a while, you’ll know of my love for checklists. The Canadian Style says a checklist “will help you to cover all pertinent facets of the writing process and to meet your deadlines.”Read More »
In the past couple of weeks we’ve talked about the challenges around—and some of the perks of—doing freelance work. If I haven’t discouraged you altogether, we’ve finally arrived at the nuts-and-bolts portion of our program!
What specifically do you need to start a freelance editing business? Besides, that is, commitment, a sense of adventure, and a healthy dose of fear?
While you won’t need as much money as most other startups do, you can’t start with nothing at all. Along with that cash on hand, you’ll also need a space in which to set up shop, and equipment and supplies to use.
In these days of fewer editors and shorter deadlines, working efficiently is necessary for survival. Today’s News Roundup has three tips for working smarter.
- “8 Tips to Fall Asleep Faster and Sleep Deeper”: Getting enough sleep is critical to being able to edit quickly and well. Start by sticking to a schedule. (Freelancers Union Blog)
- “Re-think Your Daily Rituals for Better Work”: Are your rituals helping your efficiency or hurting it? (99U)
- “The Drama-Hater's Guide to Dealing with Office Politics ”: Office politics rob editors of work time like nothing else. Here’s how to minimize the...
The Materials Research Society (MRS) is seeking a technical editor to join its MRS Bulletin team in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. Established more than 40 years ago, MRS is a 16,000-member, international, interdisciplinary organization that promotes research and communication concerning materials science. MRS Bulletin is a leading monthly publication that covers advanced materials research news, commentary, reviews, and more.
The technical editor will edit, proofread, and coordinate the publication of technical articles for MRS Bulletin; write and edit nontechnical materials; and oversee freelance associate technical editors.
This...Read More »
Even a good writer might be overwhelmed by the volume of changes their editor suggests. An inexperienced writer needs to hear that this is a normal process; typical. But when you’ve got writing that really does not grab you, and the author asks if they should just quit, what do you say?
I say, “There is a reader for every writer.”
And it’s true.
That reader might be your mom, but she’ll still read it. (I don’t say that part out loud.)
It might help the author to know that editing and their reaction is a normal process; that a heavily marked-up manuscript doesn’t mean they are unworthy. Most often, it just means that some of the house style points were missed and it’s your job to implement them.
Look, legend has it that...Read More »