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

What proofreaders do not routinely do

In an earlier blog I discussed what proofreaders would normally do as part of their duties. There I touched on aspects of writing and publication that proofreaders would not normally be involved in: copy-editing, copyright and permissions, indexing, literary appraisal, page design and layout, and rewriting. Many professional proofreaders have the skills to perform some … Continue reading What proofreaders do not routinely do

Tips for writers: Knowing when to use colons

There are many who consider the colon and semi-colon to be identical punctuation stop marks and use both without discrimination, while others have a strong preference for one mark and have little use for the other. Here I am going to concentrate solely on the use of colons. The colon is described in the New … Continue reading Tips for writers: Knowing when to use colons

Confused words: D to F

During proofreading I frequently come across the same words that have been confused time and again. I have already discussed words beginning A to C, now I will continue with words beginning with the letters D to F. Deduce / deduct To “deduce” something is to come to a logical conclusion or result, such as … Continue reading Confused words: D to F

Tips for writers: The difference between abbreviations, contractions, and acronyms

Abbreviations, contractions, and acronyms are ways of shortening a word or phrase but sometimes can be confusing for a novice writer. I will take each one briefly in turn. Abbreviations Abbreviations are defined by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as “a shortened form of a word or phrase”. These are often formed by omitting the … Continue reading Tips for writers: The difference between abbreviations, contractions, and acronyms

Proofreading myths exposed

There are some myths about proofreading that are untrue and need exposing and refuting. Myth: Proofreading is the same as editing, right? Truth: No, they are two distinct roles. Editors review a piece of writing when it is at the draft stage, with the intention of improving the flow and readability. An editor may even … Continue reading Proofreading myths exposed