Here at Re:word Communications, we’re under the impression that we have some of the most effective copy editors in the industry. Whether it’s a white paper, a term paper, a website or a training manual, our editors have established quite the reputation for taking unpolished groups of words and sentences and getting them ready for the world to see.
So, with that in mind, we thought we’d create a post about the various personality traits our editors have, and those we think are important for all highly effective copy editors. (more…)
Whether you are a professional writer, a student or a small business owner who prefers to tackle your own blogging and web content, you’ve probably read about the importance of making your writing “engaging” to your intended audience. Here are some tips to help you out:
What It Means
Let’s start by saying the word “engaging,” as we use it here, means to attract the interest of your target audience and keep it until you’ve gotten your message across or persuaded the appropriate action. An engaged audience is an interested audience, and in order to keep an audience interested, you must know the who you are writing to. (more…)
If you’re like most people, you’ve heard of synonyms, antonyms and homonyms. They’re part of the basic English curriculum in every school, after all. However, you may have breezed through every grade, learning more about grammar rules with each successive year and never heard of a heteronym.
What Is a Heteronym?
A heteronym is similar to a homonym, with one key difference. A homonym refers to two words that are spelled and pronounced the same but have a different meaning. An example would be dust and dust, as you can use it as a verb “dust the table” and a noun “the dust on the table.”
A heteronym refers to two words that are spelled the same, but are pronounced differently with different meanings. The homonym thing has the power to make a few heads swirl, but heteronyms can really make you squirrelly. And to make matters even more confusing, each pair of heteronyms take on different grammatical roles, sometimes within the same sentence. (more…)
Here’s the thing about translation…you may need it all the time or only once in a long while, but it had better be accurate when you do it. Not many blunders will make you or your organization look as silly and unprofessional as poorly translated text. This is why we dedicated a previous post to the perils of using Google Translate.
It’s also why doing it yourself in any capacity can cause big problems. Even if you can carry on a conversation in French or another language, it doesn’t mean you have the skills to translate effectively. Look for these qualities when you need a good translation service. (more…)
Apostrophes play a big role in writing the English language. Not so much in an “understanding the meaning” kind of way, but more of a “proper punctuation” kind of way. If you forget the apostrophe when you write contractions like you’re, don’t or isn’t, most people will still know what you mean. Your punctuation will just be incorrect, which reflects on the overall quality of whatever you are writing.
The apostrophe ‘s’ rule is one that is easy to get wrong, even when you know where it should go and when. Here is a basic explanation with some examples to help you along. (more…)
If you needed even more evidence of how one letter can make a big difference, ‘then vs. than’ is a great example. People make mistakes with these two words all the time, but they often slip by unnoticed because the readers don’t know the rule either.
This might be fine in text messages or on social media, but on your website, in business documents or on term papers, it’s best to have a handle on it. When you mix them up, not only is your meaning wrong, but you’ll make yourself look kind of goofy at the same time. (more…)
Occasionally mixing up the odd words that happen to sound similar is understandable. If you do a lot of writing, it may even be expected. However, this your and you’re confusion has reached epidemic proportions and it must be stopped.
They do sound almost the same when spoken, but their meanings are not the same at all, so when they are used incorrectly in writing the meaning of the sentence is thrown way out of whack. Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix it that you can use every time you encounter this issue.
Are you ready? (more…)
It’s easy to think of “fact checking” as an activity reserved for term papers, essays and other writing that require historical accuracy. However, the need for correct factual information in writing extends far beyond the classroom.
No matter what type of writing you do, if you make claims, include statistics or relay stories, it is imperative that your facts are correct. And not the “your life may be in danger” kind of imperative, but imperative to your reputation as a writer. (more…)
Sometimes, to make your ideas flow from one to the next or to hammer home a point, you use a common phrase to get the job done. We all do it from time to time, but there is a problem. It seems that many of us heard these phrases incorrectly and then adopted the incorrect version as law, then spread them around society, continuing to this very day.
Speaking these phrases incorrectly is one thing, because they often sound similar to the correct way, but if you write them they will be there for everyone to see forever! (more…)
Opinions may vary about precisely how long you have to make an impression on a potential reader once they have seen your headline, but most seem to agree it’s less than five seconds. Most also agree that if your headline doesn’t pique curiosity, stir some emotion or promise a benefit, the headline will be the only thing the reader sees.
However you choose to look at it, the headline is critical to whatever you are writing, and if you don’t create a good one, everything else you’ve written is just a bunch of letters.
Here are three headline-writing tips that will help you draw the reader into the copy and continue reading. (more…)