Editorial tips and tools
1.9K views | +0 today
Follow
 
Scooped by Frank Steele
onto Editorial tips and tools
Scoop.it!

Are you a grammar troll?

Are you a grammar troll? | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it

I’ve never believed that typos are that revealing. Anyone can be distracted or in a hurry. No one catches every single error. One study on human error rates concludes that “the best performance possible in well managed workplaces using normal quality management methods [has] failure rates of 5 to 10 in every hundred opportunities.”

Frank Steele's insight:
Great quote on typos and mistakes here.
more...
No comment yet.
Editorial tips and tools
Editing and proofreading tips
Curated by Frank Steele
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Copyediting

Copyediting | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
Carrots were the source of one of the great disinformation coups of World War II.”

Yes, carrots. And this story sounded too good to be true, but I looked it up and “Smithsonian Magazine” and Snopes both have it too. Apparently, the British Royal Air Force was using a new type of radar in 1939, but they wanted to keep it secret, and the Germans were noticing that British pilots were suddenly really good at detecting their planes in the dark as they tried to cross the English Channel. 

To try to throw off the Germans, the British started releasing stories about how they were feeding their pilots so many carrots that it was improving their night vision.
Frank Steele's insight:
Misinformation, disinformation, and the difference--and the great carrot hoax of WWII
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

4 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from Screen Fatigue

4 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from Screen Fatigue | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
I was experiencing symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or screen fatigue, and I know I’m not alone. The American Optometric Association says that anyone who spends 2 or more hours every day looking at a screen is “at greatest risk for developing CVS” (1).

I would guess that a large portion of freelancers spend most of their working day looking at computers - that can be 4 times the amount of time that puts you at risk! Plus, most people spend their time relaxing looking at screens as well.

That means that it’s not crazy to think that a normal person could be spending 9-12 hours a day staring at a glowing box.

While screens don’t necessarily pose any major health risks, they can produce some unpleasant effects.
Frank Steele's insight:
Good advice on eye care for computer users.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

The Art of Being Invisible

The Art of Being Invisible | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin described editors as “the invisible people”: “A good editor tries to figure out what the writer was trying to do, and helps him or her do it better, rather than trying to change the book into something else entirely.” That captures the editor’s role perfectly. Whether it is tentatively suggesting a small change to a line of dialogue, or firmly insisting on the deletion of an entire scene or character, the editor’s role is to spot the minor bumps and major p(l)otholes in the road, all in the service of the story. There might be a bit of a tussle, but between the writer and the editor, if they both do their jobs right, the road will be smoothed over, the editor’s intervention disappearing under the tarmac like a prehistoric burial site. That’s why editors are very visible to their authors and during the publication process, but they aim to become invisible in the finished book.
Frank Steele's insight:
The editor's role: invisible men and women
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Are You Too Old to Copyedit? 3 Questions for Those Who Wonder

Are You Too Old to Copyedit? 3 Questions for Those Who Wonder | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
How does a professional copyeditor know when it’s time to retire? Freelancers especially may be tempted to sail on past the age at which in-house editors are encouraged to put down the red pencil. But in either case, how long is too long? Here are some questions to consider.
Frank Steele's insight:
Advice on when to stop editing, from Carol Fisher Saller.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

"American" and Other Demonyms

"American" and Other Demonyms | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
Alain who is from Colombia and listens in Canada left a nice review on Apple Podcasts and also wrote, “I wonder if you could comment on the word ‘American’ when you are referring to the people of the United States. As a Colombian citizen I KNOW that me too, I am American, but at the same time I feel excluded when a person from the US says the word ‘American.’ [And he notes that I use the word American” quite often myself too.] Is it correct that The United States have appropriated this word for themselves while excluding Canadians and everything from Mexico to Patagonia?”

Alain is not alone in his thinking. Listeners from the United States have also reported having people from Brazil and Argentina upset with them for describing themselves as Americans, and I actually remember thinking about this topic when I was in South America over Christmas.
Frank Steele's insight:
Grammar Girl on the term "American." It's hard to remove from text, but you can often replace references to "America" with "United States" or "US."
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Make the Most of Spellcheck, Part 5

Make the Most of Spellcheck, Part 5 | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
Troubleshooting is our topic now. Because sometimes, spellcheck isn’t getting it right. The problem is usually that spell checking has been turned off, either generally or for that specific text. Here are three things to check
Frank Steele's insight:
Part 5 of the Spellcheck series: problems
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Make the Most of Spellcheck, Part 4

Make the Most of Spellcheck, Part 4 | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
EXCLUDE DICTIONARIES
Another sort of custom dictionary is the “exclude” dictionary. As you might infer from the name, this is a list of words you want excluded from spellcheck’s dictionary. That means, it’s a list of words that will always be marked as incorrectly spelled.
Frank Steele's insight:
Part 4 of the Spellcheck series: Exclude dictionaries
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Merriam-Webster Adds, Justifies 850 New Words

Merriam-Webster Adds, Justifies 850 New Words | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
Earlier this week, Merriam-Webster Dictionaries added 850 new words and definitions to its online dictionary. Some are recent coinages that were obvious candidates for inclusion, some are drawn from slang and intentional wordplay, and some are words you might be surprised didn’t already appear in the dictionary.

And if news of dictionary updates gets your heart a-pumping, then the first new addition you’ll want to know about — the one that describes you — is wordie.

You’ll recognize a number of new additions from the digital arena from their now daily inclusion in financial and international news: cryptocurrency (currency that exists only digitally), Bitcoin (the first successful cryptocurrency), initial coin offering (the first release of a new cryptocurrency), and blockchain (which is, um . . . here’s its entry ) have all found homes in the dictionary.
Frank Steele's insight:
News for wordies
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Confusables: Defuse and Diffuse

Confusables: Defuse and Diffuse | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
The near-homophones defuse and diffuse can give writers and editors some trouble. Spellcheck certainly can’t save you from them, and understanding the words’ meanings is only half the solution. These words are easy for our eyes to slide over while we’re reading, making the error easy to miss and correct. They’re like time bombs waiting there in the text.

Not ticking time bombs. Bombs with, you know, fuses.

Defuse literally means “to remove the fuse from” — the bomb, mine, cannon or firecracker kind of fuse, not the old-fashioned turned-too-many-appliances-on-at-once-and-now-the-fuse-has-blown kind. Because few of us regularly deal with timed explosions, defuse is often used to describe deactivating something that could metaphorically explode, like a tense situation or an angry uncle’s ire.
Frank Steele's insight:
Defuse it or diffuse it? Telling the difference
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

The importance of checking facts when editing fiction

The importance of checking facts when editing fiction | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
Have you ever been in the middle of reading a novel or a short story, when you happen upon a mistake about something you’re familiar with and get so annoyed that you don’t even want to finish the book? 

Copy editors, who are among the last to review a manuscript before it goes to print, should watch out for any factual errors that might turn off readers and make them put down the book.
Frank Steele's insight:
A reminder about fact-checking fiction
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Make the Most of Spellcheck, Part 3

Make the Most of Spellcheck, Part 3 | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
Aside from choosing which language the spellcheck is using, you can customize the dictionary that Word is using so that it reflects the style sheet in use. There are a few ways to customize the list. One is adding words, and the other is excluding words. (We’ll look at exclusions in the next instalment.)
Frank Steele's insight:
Part 3 of the series on Spellcheck: Adding words (and dictionaries)
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Podcast 6: The Dangerous Manuscript

Podcast 6: The Dangerous Manuscript | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
The most dangerous manuscripts are either mindless or complex. In today’s talk I’ll tackle both, with bonus advice on staying organized.
Frank Steele's insight:
Carol Fisher Saller on dangerous manuscripts: "The most dangerous manuscripts are either mindless or complex. In today’s talk I’ll tackle both, with bonus advice on staying organized."
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Make the Most of Spellcheck, Part 2

Make the Most of Spellcheck, Part 2 | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
You know Spellcheck, and in the previous post, you learned about language preferences and how to control them. Now we’ll look at the ways to run Spellcheck in Word and how they’re different.
Frank Steele's insight:
More on the basics of Spellcheck
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Are You Careening or Careering?

Are You Careening or Careering? | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
The verbs career and careen are easily confused — and they have been often enough that their meanings may merge sometime in the near future. But for now, they mean different things.

CAREER
Frank Steele's insight:
Easily confused words: career and careen
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Make the Most of Spellcheck, Part 6

Make the Most of Spellcheck, Part 6 | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
Grammar checking: troubled waters but big improvements for Word’s spellcheck.

While it might not be seen strictly as a feature of spellcheck, Word’s grammar checker is bundled with spellcheck. And while editors have been mocking Word’s bad suggestions for decades, it has made some improvements. And now, with the introduction of “Editor” in Word 365 (2016), you can’t entirely turn it off. Even when the grammar check is completely turned off, these suggestions still appear.
Frank Steele's insight:
Word's grammar checker: ineffective and time-consuming, which makes it a double waste.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Freelancer Finance, Part 4: Making Sense of Billable vs. Non-Billable Hours

Freelancer Finance, Part 4: Making Sense of Billable vs. Non-Billable Hours | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
In last month’s post, which argued against the feast-or-famine mentality, I mentioned that I currently try to work a maximum of 25 billable hours a week. A reader asked how I divvy up my non-billable hours, which was an excellent question that also hinted at a common source of confusion: what tasks are considered non-billable, and why do they matter to us as editorial freelancers?

Let’s start by looking at some examples of both billable and non-billable tasks
Frank Steele's insight:
Finance for freelancers: A nice look at billable and nonbillable jobs, a subject rarely covered in blog posts
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Grammarly won’t make your writing better.

Grammarly won’t make your writing better. | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
As someone who had been testing out Grammarly’s services for a few months, I was both disquieted by Ormandy’s discovery and gratified by the company’s willingness to deploy a quick fix. Ultimately, however, nothing the company does could allay its true underlying problem: Its services just aren’t that good.
Frank Steele's insight:
A review of Grammarly, and it doesn't sound good. Confirms what many others have said.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Liability Insurance: What Editors Need to Know

Liability Insurance: What Editors Need to Know | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
As editors, we can have a significant impact on a document. From small, nuanced punctuation revisions to large-scale content changes, editing aims to revise the text to improve it. But what happens if an error is discovered in the final file? Or there’s an argument that the text wasn’t improved? What if, heaven forbid, there’s litigation about a document you reviewed? How liable are you, and do you need insurance to protect yourself from these possible scenarios?
Frank Steele's insight:
A good overview of what editors need to know about liability insurance
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

SearchReSearch: Excellent research tool -- the Wayback Machine browser extension

SearchReSearch: Excellent research tool -- the Wayback Machine browser extension | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
I do. 

If you do active online research (which is pretty much the whole point of SearchResearch), you fairly often run into web pages that are 404.  When this happens, it means that the link you're trying to follow leads to a page that is missing.  It might have been removed by the author, or just moved elsewhere.  In any case, the link you've got doesn't work any more.  

This actually happens more often than you'd like.  

Normally, I'd just use Google's cache: operator like this: 

     cache:my-broken-url.html 

and Google will serve up its cached version of the page. 

But every so often, that cached version is missing as well.  THEN what? 
Frank Steele's insight:
Browser extension that might be helpful for fact-checking
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Two Tips for Copyediting Dialogue

Two Tips for Copyediting Dialogue | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
[wrong] “I don’t know what to tell you,” she shrugged.
Can you see the problem? A person can’t shrug words. You can say them, or shout them, or even grunt or mumble them. But shrug is not what we call a verb of saying or verb of utterance. There are two ways to fix this (and which one you choose will depend on context):

(a) “I don’t know what to tell you,” she replied. (Change the verb to a verb of utterance.)
(b) “I don’t know what to tell you.” She shrugged. (Make the action beat its own sentence.)
Frank Steele's insight:
Pointers on editing dialogue. I see the first one all the time.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Podcast 7: The Zen of Copyediting

Podcast 7: The Zen of Copyediting | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
When work and deadlines pile up, copyeditors freak out. But as I always say, there should be no crying in copyediting. Here are my best tips for taking the pressure off yourself.
Frank Steele's insight:
Carol Fisher Saller on relieving the stress of editing.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Cybersecurity Style Guide is a useful editing tool

Cybersecurity Style Guide is a useful editing tool | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
Most people reading this will have partial or passive familiarity with some terminology from programming, information security, and related domains, but they may have just a hazy grasp of how they’re used. What’s the difference between DOS and DoS? Does cold call take a hyphen? Is it a SQL or an SQL? How do you pronounce ASCII? What’s a dictionary attack?*
Frank Steele's insight:
Free cybersecurity style guide for editors
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

Top Ten Grammar Myths | Grammar Girl

Top Ten Grammar Myths | Grammar Girl | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
March 4 is National Grammar Day, so I have a special top-10 show to celebrate the occasion, and before you argue with me, read the whole explanation about why each of these is a myth.
Frank Steele's insight:
A nice overview of some grammar myths from Grammar Girl
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

10 Quotes from 'Hired Gun' That Show Just How Much Freelancers and Rock Stars Have In Common

10 Quotes from 'Hired Gun' That Show Just How Much Freelancers and Rock Stars Have In Common | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
Nita Strauss, the guitarist onstage with Alice Cooper? She's a freelancer, a hired gun. Piggy D (Matt Montgomery), the bassist onstage with Rob Zombie? Hired gun. Phil X, the guitarist who replaced Richie Sambora in Bon Jovi? Before becoming a full-fledged member of the band, he spent two years as their hired gun.

Pink's entire band? If you're one of the millions of people who are part of the gig economy, they're all just like you: Hired guns.

Which, at least by my definition, makes them -- and you -- entrepreneurs.

And that makes the documentary Hired Gun: Out of the Shadows, Into the Spotlight, available on demand and currently airing on Netflix, especially entertaining if you're a freelancer who loves music. It's a behind the scenes look at a few of the untold stories behind the artists who make music (as well as the business of music.)

Here are some great lessons from the movie about freelancing... and for good measure, about employing freelancers.
Frank Steele's insight:
Freelancers in the music business, with good advice and motivation for any freelancer
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Frank Steele
Scoop.it!

How to Edit & Format Cells in Google Sheets Spreadsheets

How to Edit & Format Cells in Google Sheets Spreadsheets | Editorial tips and tools | Scoop.it
Formatting a spreadsheet is really about adding style so that your data is easy to read and interpret. When a spreadsheet is properly formatted, you can glance over the data and understand it much more quickly than flat data alone.
Frank Steele's insight:
Some basics on formatting in Google Sheets
more...
No comment yet.