Articles Tagged with editing

Their, there, they’re!

Their or there or they’re?

They sound and look similar, but their meanings are different, so how do you know which one to use?

Their (adjective) means belonging to them.

There (adverb) means in or at a place.

They’re (verb) is a shortened version of “they are”.

So you could say, “They’re putting their things over there.”

For spelling, grammar and punctuation tips and advice on copywriting, editing and proofreading, please visit our www.z2zine.co.uk blog regularly.

Managing long documents effectively

When commissioned to proofread magazines, newsletters, reports, manuals and web sites before they are sent to print or published on the internet, often we find major inconsistencies throughout the document, which require considerable rewriting or editing. Sometimes there isn’t enough time to do this and the document is produced with only the worst errors and typos corrected.

Anyone producing a long document can avoid this by assuming the role of editor and managing production from start to finish. By using style guides for both the visual and written content, you can ensure consistency through contributions from many writers, illustrators and designers. 

And because you’re monitoring progress all the time, you won’t be faced by the need to make impossible changes just before going to print or publication. 

It’ll save you time, money and hassle, and also result in a better publication.

Download our free prompt sheet on managing long documents effectively or if you want someone to edit your long document for you, call us on 0845 200 7830 or email us.

Comprise or comprise of?

When do you append ‘of’ to the verb ‘comprise’?

Comprise means to include or to consist of. Of is added when the verb is used passively (eg something is comprised of something else). When used actively, do not use ‘of’. See following example.

If you want to write about the composition of a committee, you could write either:

“The committee comprises four managers, three members of staff and two customers.”

or

“The committee is comprised of four managers, three members of staff and two customers.”

You should not write: “The committee comprises of four managers, three members of staff and two customers.”

Robert Zarywacz

For spelling, grammar and punctuation tips and advice on copywriting, editing and proofreading, please visit our www.z2zine.co.uk blog regularly.

Just in case you’re wondering . . .

. . . why there’s been a gap in posting, it’s because we’ve been editing a 16-page magazine for an organisation, but finally it has gone to print.

As well as editing the content of the articles themselves, we spend a lot of time ensuring information such as web addresses and phone numbers are correct. There’s nothing worse than reading something interesting, then going to have a look at the web site listed, only to find that the wrong address has been given.

It only takes one wrong character to stop you finding that web site, and that’s why accuracy is so important.

Anyway, we hope that normal blogging service will be resumed from now on.

Robert Zarywacz

Editing a newsletter or magazine

Many businesses or organisations decided to publish a newsletter and launch enthusiastically into issue 1 as their first and last effort. Maintaining periodical production is like keeping a train or heavy lorry moving: it takes a tremendous amount of effort at first, but as long as you keep it moving it will roll along almost effortlessly. The danger is in letting it stop; then you have to start it moving all over again.

Over the years, I’ve edited newsletters and magazines for companies, business organisations and voluntary groups, and the above applies to all of them.

How do you attract people’s interest and participation? Obviously, producing a publication that is worth reading is important, but I also try to reach out to every area of the company or organisation to represent their interests. The result is that people start to send you contributions or suggest ideas for articles voluntarily.

I’m editing a magazine at the moment and have received a variety of articles ranging from the interesting to the ones where I’ve politely suggested some improvements to the writer. While not everyone is a natural writer, nobody likes to be told that their contribution is too poor to publish, and it’s surprising how some positive suggestions can result in an improved article the next time.

I really enjoy editing magazines because of the enjoyment they can give both to contributors and readers. It’s worth putting in the effort to maintain the momentum and keep interest alive.

Robert Zarywacz

The dependent dependant

Dependent or dependant?

They sound and look similar, but their meanings are different, so how do you know which one to use?

A dependant (noun) is a person who depends on someone else for support.

Dependent (adjective) describes a person or thing depending on someone/something else or unable to function without the thing it depends on.

The difference between the a and the e is an important one.

However, in the US both the noun and adjective can be written with the a, so make sure you use the right version for the right audience.

Robert Zarywacz

For spelling, grammar and punctuation tips and advice on copywriting, editing and proofreading, please visit our z2zine blog regularly.

Practise or practice?

Practise or practice?

They sound the same and look similar, but their meanings are different, so how do you know which one to use?

To prastise (verb) is to do something habitually, such as practise playing the guitar, often to improve skill. It is also often used to describe professional work, such as practising law or dentistry.

Practice (noun) refers to an act itself, not who is doing it. Fire practice is the drill an organisation puts in place to test the evacuation of a building in the event of a fire. A practice can also refer to a business or building, such as a dental practice – a group of dentists who operate at a specific location. A practice manager is likely to look after all aspects of running the dental practice.

The difference between the s and the c is an important one.

However, in the US both the verb and noun are written with the c, so make sure you use the right version for the right audience.

Robert Zarywacz

For spelling, grammar and punctuation tips and advice on copywriting, editing and proofreading, please visit our www.z2z.biz blog regularly.

It’s the principal principle

Principle or principal?

They sound the same and look similar, but their meanings are different, so how do you know which one to use?

A principle (noun) describes a fundamental truth, law or belief. It can also stand for a personal code of conduct, as in ‘a man of principle’. A principle can also describe a scientific, mechanical or other law or rule, such as the principle of nuclear fission.

Principal (adjective) describes something that is first in rank or importance. The principal members of the cast of a play are the main or leading actors. A principal (noun) describes the head of an institution, such as a school or college.

The difference between the ple and the pal ending is an important one.

Robert Zarywacz

For spelling, grammar and punctuation tips and advice on copywriting, editing and proofreading, please visit our www.z2z.biz blog regularly.

What’s in a compliment?

Compliment or complement?

They sound the same and look similar, but their meanings are different, so how do you know which one to use?

A compliment is an expression of praise. When you compliment someone, you praise them. When you are being complimentary about something, you are praising it. Complimentary can also mean a gift given free of charge, such as complimentary theatre tickets.

A complement is something which completes or balances something else, e.g. a full complement of crew for a ship. When one thing complements another, it completes or balances it, e.g. a salt cellar complements a pepper pot. Two things which are complementary balance each other or complete a set.

The difference between the e and the i is an important one.

Robert Zarywacz

For spelling, grammar and punctuation tips and advice on copywriting, editing and proofreading, please visit our z2zine blog regularly.

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