Blog: Proofreading matters

The decline of the apostrophe

John Richards, a former journalist, started the Apostrophe Protection Society in 2001 after his retirement, with the aim of preserving the correct use of this much-abused punctuation mark in written English. However, he announced in November 2019 that he would close the Society because of firstly, his age (he is 96 after all) and secondly, … Continue reading The decline of the apostrophe

5 key steps for writing perfect emails

Today life is a bit of a rush, especially on the work front and mistakes are understandable but a hazard. Failure to check your work and proofread your business emails can result in all sorts of problems, and errors in emails can make your communications appear unprofessional and careless. But there are steps that you … Continue reading 5 key steps for writing perfect emails

Humorous Winston Churchill quotations

The first section on politics is perhaps rather timely in view of the pending UK general election, and the comments are still quite accurate! On politics “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” “A politician needs the ability to foretell what is … Continue reading Humorous Winston Churchill quotations

Confused words: J to M

During proofreading I frequently come across the same words that have been confused time and again. I have already discussed words beginning A to I, now I will continue with words beginning with the letters J to M. Jewellery / jewelry Jewellery is the British English spelling, while jewelry is that spelling preferred in US … Continue reading Confused words: J to M

Codes and ciphers

Many would consider that "code" and "cipher/cypher"  mean the same. The Oxford English Dictionary describes them as: code (noun): “a system of words, letters, figures or symbols used to represent others, especially for the purposes of secrecy”. cipher (variant cypher) (noun): “a secret or disguised way of writing: a code; … something written in code; … Continue reading Codes and ciphers

New words added to Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary is constantly adding new words, often reflecting new cultural phenomena, and some additions may be surprising. These are a few that were added in spring 2019. Many are all too familiar. Adorbs Cute or adorable; inducing great delight. Bestie A person’s best friend. Binge-watch To watch multiple episodes of a TV … Continue reading New words added to Oxford English Dictionary

Tips for writing fiction from a master thriller writer

In his 2017 book Camino Island by John Grisham – an undisputed master of crime and legal thrillers – the bookshop-owner Bruce Cable gave the following tips for writing fiction. The character said that he had read over 4000 books and here are Bruce’s pearls of wisdom for successful writing. Tip 1: Avoid prologues where … Continue reading Tips for writing fiction from a master thriller writer

Analogies, metaphors, and similes – what are they?

Although there are similarities in their purpose, there are distinct differences between analogies, metaphors, and similes. Analogies An analogy is a literary device by which a writer likens two objects that are dissimilar but yet share common, often concealed features. Some analogies can be excessively extended by an overenthusiastic writer to make what they think … Continue reading Analogies, metaphors, and similes – what are they?

How to choose a proofreader

You have just completed writing your document. It could be an essay, book, journal article, or business report. You have checked through it so many times, completely revised it once or twice, but you are still not confident that you have found all the errors and inconsistencies that may be present. Perhaps English is not … Continue reading How to choose a proofreader

Confused words: G to I

During proofreading I frequently come across the same words that have been confused time and again. I have already discussed words beginning A to F, now I will continue with words beginning with the letters G to I. Gourmand / gourmet These two words are easily confused, but “gourmand” is someone who overindulges in food … Continue reading Confused words: G to I