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New words for autumn 2022

Collins have just announced the latest words to be added to their dictionary and the lead word, which just about sums up 2022, a truly momentous and awful year (certainly for some people). That word is “permacrisis”, which sums up the political and financial situation in Britain. Although this word has only just made its

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How proofreading for book publishers has changed since the early days of my career

In the beginning I started my freelance career in the late 1980s when all proofreading for book publishers was on paper. Usually it involved reading the proofs – either page proofs or galley proofs (proofs on continuous rolls of paper that have not yet been set as even pages) – line by line against the

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Astronomy: An additional specialist proofreading subject

I have recently added a specialist proofreading subject to those I handle: astronomy. Since I was a teenager I have had a deep interest in astronomy and space exploration. This was triggered by the Apollo 11 Moon landing placing the first man on the Moon. I sat up for all that July night in 1969

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What is the difference between copyediting and proofreading?

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

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Students: How a proofreader can help you with your essay

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

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

“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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