What is the difference between copyediting and proofreading?

Posted Posted in copy-editing, grammar, house style, proofreading, punctuation, spellings, writing

The difference between copyediting and proofreading: in many instances people will seek out proofreaders, while expecting copyediting skills. Often, people are not aware of the differences between the two disciplines. Some even assume they are the same thing. However, they are not the same. What is proofreading? A proofreader’s job is to read through the […]

Students: How a proofreader can help you with your essay

Posted Posted in British English, grammar, proofreading, punctuation, spellings, US English, writing

Not all students are blessed with a command of perfect or exceptional English. Many international students, for whom English is a second (or perhaps even third) language find it difficult to express themselves in writing when compiling essays or other written documents. A proofreader like myself can help by correcting spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and […]

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Words that once meant something different

Posted Posted in proofreading

Words are constantly changing meaning, usually over long periods of time. We all learn to cope with it as words change meaning as long as words have existed. Some words that used to mean something very different are discussed below. Awful: Awful used to be “worthy of awe”, but now means something dreadful or bad. Bachelor: […]

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Origins of phrases 1: Music

Posted Posted in phrases

“As fit as a fiddle” ‘Fiddle’ here is the colloquial name for a violin. ‘Fit’ didn’t originally mean healthy, in the sense it is nowadays often used to describe the gym-goers but was used to mean ‘suitable’ or ‘seemly’, similar to the way we now might say ‘fit for purpose’. “It ain’t over till the […]

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How NOT to write a novel – from an established author

Posted Posted in authorship, readership, tips for writers, writing

Many months ago (in 2019) I read an interesting article by Fay Weldon in a Sunday magazine. She is the author of Life and Loves of a She-Devil that was also turned into an excellent TV series some years ago. In it she imparted her wisdom from writing experience on what errors are made by […]

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The cost of not proofreading can be great

Posted Posted in advertising copy, proofreading, website material

In a previous blog on my website I stated that it can be costly not to proofread you publication. Well, here a few examples of other people’s losses and misfortunes due to failing to proofread. Case A I’ll tell you a story about how not proofreading cost thousands of dollars. This person, let us call […]

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Confused words: N to Q

Posted Posted in British English, language, proofreading, US English

During proofreading I frequently come across the same words that have been confused time and again. I have already discussed words beginning A to M, now I will continue with words beginning with the letters N to Q. naught / nought Nought is used in British English for the digit zero and is also used […]

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Is the double negative a definite no-no?

Posted Posted in grammar, language, writing

The Oxford Dictionary of English says a double negative “is a negative statement containing two negative elements (for example he didn’t say nothing)” and “a positive statement in which two negative elements are used to produce the positive force, usually for some rhetorical effect, for example there is not nothing to worry about!” It is […]

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Posted Posted in euphemisms, language, writing

Doublespeak is language that disguises or distorts the meaning of words deliberately and can often involve a degree of ambiguity. Doublespeak may use euphemisms (that is, indirect expressions used in place of words judged too harsh or blunt when referring to something embarrassing or unpleasant – for example, “downsizing” for laying off employees, “cleansing” for […]

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House style – Part 2

Posted Posted in authorship, grammar, house style, punctuation, quotations, spellings, tips for writers, titles, US English, use of capital letters, writing

In part 1 I considered why a house style is necessary for a business – for reasons of consistency, brand identity, and economy. Here I will cover a few areas that should be considered based on UK English usage Writing a house style • Abbreviations, acronyms, and contractions: A common style for abbreviations is capital […]