Experimental psycholinguist and author Steven Pinker gave the opening keynote at Beyond the Red Pencil, the Northwest Independent Editors Guild’s fifth biennial conference. His talk covered the same territory as his book The Sense of Style (which I reviewed earlier), but I still very much enjoyed hearing him speak in person. Why is so much … Continue reading “Steven Pinker—The thinking person’s approach to writing in the 21st century (Beyond the Red Pencil, 2015)”
Inspired by Laura M. Browning.
We humans have been speaking for a lot longer than we’ve been writing, which is why the former comes to us so much more naturally. When we write, explains Steven Pinker in The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, the physical and temporal distance between us and our audience … Continue reading “Book review: The Sense of Style“
I’d heard only good things about PerfectIt, the consistency-checking software, but I work on a Mac and didn’t want to run Parallels, so I’ve resisted buying it. Still, I wanted to attend developer Daniel Heuman’s EAC conference talk about the software so that I could learn more about what it can and can’t do. PerfectIt, … Continue reading “Faster editing: Using PerfectIt to check consistency and house style—Daniel Heuman (EAC conference 2014)”
Professional freelance editors will be familiar with a few industry-standard style manuals: Chicago Manual of Style Canadian Press Stylebook Associated Press Stylebook MLA Style Manual APA Publication Manual These references offer broad coverage of most style issues; they’ve been honed over several editions and generally serve editors well. Yet, the vast majority of organizations that … Continue reading “House style and the zombie apocalypse: How a poorly thought-out style guide can cost you”
Good editors have an intuitive sense about language, and I know many editors who’ve never had any formal grammar training. Is knowing what “sounds right” enough? It may be, but understanding grammatical rules can be enormously empowering to an editor. Knowing the parts of speech, the difference between clauses and phrases, the distinction between independent … Continue reading “Book review: The Only Grammar and Style Workbook You’ll Ever Need“