Category: Editing

March 22, 2021

What I Learned from Teaching Editing

Last semester I finally had the opportunity to do something I’d thought about for many years: teach a college class. I’d applied for a full-time teaching professor job before, but I’d been passed over in favor of someone with more experience. I’d also been approached about adjuncting before, but I passed up the opportunity because […]

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Editing 5 Replies to “What I Learned from Teaching Editing”
April 4, 2016

ACES Presentation: Copyediting and Corpus Linguistics

On Saturday, I presented at the twentieth annual conference of the American Copy Editors Society, held in Portland, Oregon. My topic was “Copyediting and Corpus Linguistics”, and my aim was to give editors a crash course in using corpora to research usage questions. I was floored by the turnout—there were probably close to two hundred […]

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Editing 4 Replies to “ACES Presentation: Copyediting and Corpus Linguistics”
August 21, 2015

This Is Not the Grammatical Promised Land

I recently became aware of a column in the Chicago Daily Herald by the paper’s managing editor, Jim Baumann, who has taken upon himself the name Grammar Moses. In his debut column, he’s quick to point out that he’s not like the real Moses—“My tablets are not carved in stone. Grammar is a fluid thing.” […]

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Editing, Prescriptivism 30 Replies to “This Is Not the Grammatical Promised Land”
February 23, 2015

Fifty Shades of Bad Grammar Advice

A few weeks ago, the folks at the grammar-checking website Grammarly wrote a piece about supposed grammar mistakes in Fifty Shades of Grey. Despite being a runaway hit, the book has frequently been criticized for its terrible prose, and Grammarly apparently saw an opportunity to fix some of the book’s problems (and probably sell its […]

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Editing, Grammar, Punctuation, Rants, Usage 18 Replies to “Fifty Shades of Bad Grammar Advice”
January 6, 2015

Get a Discount on Copyediting Newsletter

Attention, editors! Get a great deal on a subscription to Copyediting newsletter when you use the code COPY at checkout. It’s full of great information on style and usage, advice on getting your freelance business going, tech tips, and, of course, my column on grammar. The code is good for any subscription, audio conference, or […]

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Editing 2 Replies to “Get a Discount on Copyediting Newsletter”
June 12, 2013

Accepting and Rejecting Changes in Microsoft Word

As many of you probably know, editors usually use Microsoft Word’s Tracking Changes feature to mark their editing changes. The days of writing in red pen all over hard copies of documents are largely gone. What this means is that authors and editors can communicate by email, sending versions of the document back and forth […]

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Editing One Reply to “Accepting and Rejecting Changes in Microsoft Word”
May 16, 2013

My Thesis

I’ve been putting this post off for a while for a couple of reasons: first, I was a little burned out and was enjoying not thinking about my thesis for a while, and second, I wasn’t sure how to tackle this post. My thesis is about eighty pages long all told, and I wasn’t sure […]

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Descriptivism, Editing, Prescriptivism, Usage 16 Replies to “My Thesis”
May 15, 2013

Why You Need an Editor

Every writer needs a good editor. It doesn’t matter how good you are, how many years of experience you have, or how meticulous you are; you simply can’t see all of your own mistakes. We all have a blind spot for our own typos and for the weaknesses in our arguments, because we know how […]

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Editing One Reply to “Why You Need an Editor”
November 8, 2012

Names, Spelling, and Style

A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with Mededitor on Twitter about name spelling and style. It started with a tweet from Grammar Girl linking to an old post of hers on whether you need a comma before “Jr.” She notes that most style guides now leave out the commas. Mededitor opined that […]

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Editing 13 Replies to “Names, Spelling, and Style”
June 14, 2012

Take My Commas—Please

Most editors are probably familiar with the rule that commas should be used to set off nonrestrictive appositives and that no commas should be used around restrictive appositives. (In Chicago 16, it’s under 6.23.) A restrictive appositive specifies which of a group of possible referents you’re talking about, and it’s thus integral to the sentence. […]

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Editing, Semantics 6 Replies to “Take My Commas—Please”
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