Editing Practice

rogersgeorge on November 22nd, 2017

Another easy post for me, but hard for you, I think. How would you edit this sentence? It’s from the November 14, 2017 Mr. Fitz comic:

Beware! If you go to the Mr. Fitz site, you will spend more time there than you intend. Especially if you’re a teacher.

Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed

Proofread your Material!

rogersgeorge on July 31st, 2016

I feel grumpy today, so here’s the first paragraph of an article I┬ápulled pretty much at random from some material that should have been proofread by an editor. I’m going to grouse about the writing.

Thank you to everyone that contacted their legislator, testified on a bill, or attended a committee hearing this session! You know the old saying “You when some, you lose some?” Well that about sums up the 148th General Assembly! Here is a run down of legislation and budgetary items addressed this year.

First, something they got right: They didn’t say “We’d like to thank you…” They actually said thank you. Good for them.


Goof one: People are “who,” not “that.” So it should be “…everyone who contacted…”

Goof two, check your references. It’s “Win some, lose some.”

Goof three: The question mark should go outside the quotes. It’s not part of the old saying.

Goof four: “Well” is an aside. Separate it from the rest of the sentence with a comma. Myself, I’d have left it out and started the sentence with “That.”

Goof five: too many exclamation points. One per paragraph is a great plenty.

Goof six: “run down” should be “run-down.” It’s a compound noun.

That was the first paragraph. I shudder to read the rest of the article. To avoid embarrassment, I won’t cite my source.


An exercise for the reader

rogersgeorge on January 30th, 2014

Alas for the hardships of an English teacher. I present this strip, Luann from December 10, 1991, without comment. How would you correct the last panel?


I won an award!

rogersgeorge on December 14th, 2013

My third! (The other two were a long time ago, from the Society for Technical Communication for some software manuals). The Writing Rag’s official address is Newark, Delaware, and I’ve seen plaques from this organization in assorted businesses over the years, and apparently the competition among restaurants for these awards is lively. So I think it’s legit. At least it’s not my name in a book that I have to buy if I want to see it. They do sell the plaques, but I have no place to put one, so I’ll pass.

Here’s the press release:


The Writing Rag Receives 2013 Best of Newark Award

Newark Award Program Honors the Achievement

NEWARK December 4, 2013 — The Writing Rag has been selected for the 2013 Best of Newark Award in the Editing category by the Newark Award Program.

Each year, the Newark Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Newark area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2013 Newark Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Newark Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Newark Award Program

The Newark Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Newark area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Newark Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Newark Award Program

I found two nits to pick: “those” where “the” will do, and a missing Oxford comma. Hey, if I’m such a good editor…