Avoiding comma splices

2021-05-17T15:09:32+10:00

A comma splice occurs where a comma joins two or more independent parts of a sentence. The comma should not do this, but I see it every day. Here's an example: The CEO is on leave, her executive assistant will handle all queries. The above sentence has two parts, each with a subject and [...]

Avoiding comma splices2021-05-17T15:09:32+10:00

License or licence?

2017-05-02T05:33:25+10:00

by Rajan Venkataraman Americans are different. You don’t have to be a keen observer of US politics – with its primaries and electoral college, with its government shutdowns and its tea party – to reach this conclusion. They speak a different language too. The first thing you notice, of course, is the [...]

License or licence?2017-05-02T05:33:25+10:00

An editor’s week

2017-04-26T07:19:18+10:00

Variety is a significant pleasure for a business-document editor. Not only is variety stimulating, but the work that comes across our desks at Hit Send (or rather, across our screens) also provides a fascinating insight into local and overseas businesses, Tasmanian government policy, and plans for our State. Monday First up is the bimonthly Seafood Industry News. [...]

An editor’s week2017-04-26T07:19:18+10:00

Government websites confuse readers

2016-06-15T00:46:54+10:00

A readability survey has found that, despite best intentions, Australian Government agency website writers are still favouring long sentences. Review your own writing for the web and divide sentences over 20 words in half. Read about the survey.

Government websites confuse readers2016-06-15T00:46:54+10:00

Leonardo da Vinci had dyslexia

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

I wasn't aware until today that it's thought Leonardo da Vinci had dyslexia. According to Davis Dyslexia Association International, 'Leonardo was constantly sketching out his ideas for inventions. Most of the time, he wrote his notes in reverse, mirror image'. His is an inspirational story.

Leonardo da Vinci had dyslexia2016-10-14T03:34:14+10:00

How contemporary is your English?

2021-04-09T19:45:05+10:00

Are your English skills keeping up with your modern lifestyle? Today is National Grammar Day – well it is in the US – and that’s my excuse to write to you about contemporary English. We all try to keep our skills up to date, and our English should be no exception. Short of time? Cut straight to [...]

How contemporary is your English?2021-04-09T19:45:05+10:00

Editing indefinite articles: A historic or an historic place?

2021-04-09T19:45:17+10:00

When editing, we encounter this fairly frequently. The question is: do nouns beginning with 'h' take the indefinite article a or an? Fortunately, the answer is easy – it depends how the word beginning with ‘h’ sounds – that is, whether the ‘h’ is pronounced or not. For example, in ‘a hot dog’ the h is pronounced, but [...]

Editing indefinite articles: A historic or an historic place?2021-04-09T19:45:17+10:00

One-minute tip: Beware the ‘Manhattan skyline’

2021-04-09T19:46:06+10:00

When editing prose, I spend quite a bit of time eliminating random initial caps. I've heard this gratuitous capitalisation referred to as the 'Manhattan skyline'. Once you are referring to your organisation in one word (the company, the committee, the university) you can drop that initial cap (e.g. the Association) and Then your Writing [...]

One-minute tip: Beware the ‘Manhattan skyline’2021-04-09T19:46:06+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 tip #2: Getting apostrophes to behave

2016-12-18T22:21:19+10:00

The apostrophe can be troublesome, no doubt about it. While there are many occasions when it should be used (judiciously, in the right spot...) let's start with three of its former uses that no longer apply. Contrary to many grocers’ blackboards advertising tomato’s or potato’s, the apostrophe does not have a place in forming plurals. [...]

Editing tip #2: Getting apostrophes to behave2016-12-18T22:21:19+10:00