Editing in British English while you sleep

2016-10-14T03:34:14+10:00

It was breakfast time one morning in mid-December, my editing jobs were tidied away, and I was enjoying the sense of anticipation about what the day would bring. My phone rang. "Is that Hit Send?" The voice was evidently British and the call had that long-distance fuzziness to it. "It is." "I'm just going to [...]

Editing in British English while you sleep2016-10-14T03:34:14+10:00

He said, she said: Elegant editing

2021-01-31T17:01:33+10:00

Do you struggle with the ‘he said’, ‘she said’ of handling quotes in your business writing? Maybe you’d like to incorporate a little more variety? Here are some unobtrusive mechanisms to help you. 1. Weave the quote in Weave spoken quotes into the middle of your text; don’t just place them at the beginning or end [...]

He said, she said: Elegant editing2021-01-31T17:01:33+10:00

One-minute tip: Write like a local

2021-04-09T19:45:38+10:00

If you are writing in Word, change your language from US English to Australian English. (Select the whole document, and – in my version of Word – go to Tools then Language.) You will avoid spelling errors such as trialing, fetal, behavior, fulfillment, center, canceling and theater, not to mention all those zzzzzs. Don't [...]

One-minute tip: Write like a local2021-04-09T19:45:38+10:00

One-minute tip: Make dot points parallel

2021-04-09T19:45:48+10:00

Bullet or dot points should have a 'parallel' structure to be correct. Example 1: Incorrect: Activities I enjoy on holiday include: Snorkelling River-rafting The chance to get my dance shoes on Correct: Activities I enjoy on holiday include: Snorkelling River-rafting Dancing the night away Notice that each of the first bullet-pointed words is the same [...]

One-minute tip: Make dot points parallel2021-04-09T19:45:48+10:00

Plain English: Get behind it

2016-10-14T03:34:16+10:00

“Plain English is a way of presenting information that helps someone understand it the first time they read or hear it. It allows them to get the information they need, understand it easily and act if they need to.” This definition is drawn from 26TEN’s excellent booklet, Communicate Clearly. A Guide to Plain English. Do [...]

Plain English: Get behind it2016-10-14T03:34:16+10:00

One-minute tip: Yours sincerely or Yours faithfully?

2021-05-25T13:39:51+10:00

In Australia, 'Yours sincerely' and 'Kind regards' are appropriate letter sign-offs if you have used the recipient's name, such as 'Dear Mr Johnson'.If you have said 'Dear Sir' or 'Dear Madam', use 'Yours faithfully' instead.(My memory-jogger: if you don't know the name of the person you are writing to, you need to have faith your letter [...]

One-minute tip: Yours sincerely or Yours faithfully?2021-05-25T13:39:51+10:00

Editing for the ‘bogy-haunted creatures’

2016-10-14T03:34:16+10:00

When I was young and still impressionable, my father often quoted Fowler’s Modern English Usage (1965 edition) to me verbatim. His favourite section tickled his sense of humour and concerned split infinitives. It began as follows: “The English-speaking world may be divided into (1) those who neither know nor care what a split infinitive is; [...]

Editing for the ‘bogy-haunted creatures’2016-10-14T03:34:16+10:00

Editing tip #5: Are you pulling your punches?

2016-10-14T03:34:17+10:00

Many executives receive an easy 50+ emails per day. Are yours being read? Just as important, are they acted upon? Do you ask questions in your emails, but find that only some questions receive responses? And in return do you receive emails that are ‘fluffy’ and incomprehensible? To try and minimise these problems and give your own [...]

Editing tip #5: Are you pulling your punches?2016-10-14T03:34:17+10:00

One-minute tip: Let’s start at the very beginning

2021-04-09T19:46:45+10:00

In many instances, you may find you can improve what you have written by removing the first sentence. As getting started can be a bit of a hurdle, it's common to prevaricate and write an introduction, or some background; you're still busy getting your head around what you want to say. The result is a bit fluffy, with this introductory sentence slowing down the [...]

One-minute tip: Let’s start at the very beginning2021-04-09T19:46:45+10:00