Editing and More

Your Words Still Matter

A little more than six years ago, the second post I wrote for this blog came after a mass shooting that targeted a congresswoman, Gabby Giffords. Six people died in that attack, and Giffords suffered serious brain damage. Today, a man in Alexandria, Virginia, opened fire on a group of congressmen and congresswomen who were practicing […]

Read More

BB Guns to Muumuus: All in a Week’s Work!

One of the best things about working as an independent editor is the wide variety of material I get to read, and glancing back at some of the words and ideas I’ve looked up in the past few days simply makes me smile. I can’t help it; I think words are fun. This week, I’ve […]

Read More

Opting Out for Clarity’s Sake

I got a thick envelope this week from the mortgage lender that now owns my house. As I glanced through several pages about disclosures and RESPA requirements, a sentence at the top of the last page caught my eye. You do not need to notify us if you decide not to opt out. Wait—what? I […]

Read More

Yarn Spinning of Adequate Stupidity

Adequate stupidity? Yes, I think that about sums up “spinning,” a process that uses software to generate what Spinrobot.com claims is “legible, grammatically correct … syntax” with a single click. Spinning software is designed to allow you to revise written material in seconds by generating synonyms to replace at least 20% of the words in […]

Read More

Obsessing as Usual, But with a Smile

Found some advice this week that made me smile. And it came from an unlikely source—the SBL Handbook of Style: For Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Early Christian Studies. I’m editing a book of essays on the Apostle Paul and his writings, and needed to know how the SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) would have […]

Read More

The Art of the #Hashtag

#Hashtag. The American Dialect Society voted last week to dub #hashtag the Word of the Year for 2012. When I first heard that news, I winced. The word seems too trendy and tech-focused. I know a lot of people who have never used Twitter and never plan to use Twitter. Do they even know that […]

Read More

Fiction Rules

Copy editing is a profession full of rules and guidelines. The first rule of editing? The rules don’t always apply. That no rules rule especially affects editors working with fiction. Colleen Barry in her “Ask Copy Curmudgeon” blog addresses this dilemma in her Friday post: http://askcopycurmudgeon.com/2012/11/09/the-irrelephants-of-style/#comments. Because the Copy Curmudgeon doesn’t edit much fiction, she […]

Read More

Happy Punctuation Day to You!

I haven’t managed to produce a blog post in the past couple of months because I’ve been thinking too much about other writers’ works to think for myself. But as an editor, I just couldn’t pass up a chance to wish everyone a “Happy National Punctuation Day!” What? You haven’t heard of National Punctuation Day? Don’t […]

Read More

Can We All Get Along?

Twenty years ago today, I brought my firstborn home from the hospital. He was barely 24 hours old and not well-adjusted to his new environment. I was in pain from a difficult delivery and not well-adjusted to my new role in life. I expected to shut the doors on the outside world for a few […]

Read More

Festival of Books and Ideas

Words have power. So says the new brochure for eDitmore Editorial Services. I was reminded of that phrase Saturday at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books because it is powerful to watch thousands of people browsing through hundreds of booths filled with words in many shapes and forms for every age and taste. And I […]

Read More