5 unexpected ways hiring a copy editor can improve your writing

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Categories for Editing

Design Agencies Are Leaving Millions of Dollars On The Table

Designers at design agencies have a unique ability to stare at copy for days at a time and never know what it says. To them, it’s another graphic element, as it should be.

But what if design agencies could evaluate the copy as well as lay it out? What if they could truncate to it make it pithier and easier to fit? What if they could augment it to better complement a visual idea they had? What if they could go back to the client and say “we know what you were going for but here’s a better way of getting there?”

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Companies that care about customers use a copyeditor

Marcus Gee wrote a great piece in the Globe and Mail about dangling modifiers. This line jumped off the page for us:

The smallest hint of confusion can give the reader “a breach in time to check mail, get up and make a sandwich, shoot a cat video.” English, he says, is a subject-verb-object language. “If you’re unclear in your own mind about the relationship between these components, or if you muddy it for the reader, you’ve fried the motherboard.”

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You are what you post: A social media warning

Social media is the great equalizer of our time. It gives everyone the same opportunity to share their views, thoughts, wisdoms and gripes — and people take full advantage of that on a regular basis. But the power to say what you want when you want about whatever you want comes with consequences, ranging from public shaming to getting fired.

On the more benign end of the spectrum, consider the story of Alex Johnston, a political candidate for office in 2015’s Canadian federal election. She was called out for a ridiculous Facebook post she made seven years prior about Auschwitz. These posts came to light weeks before voters went to the polls. And while she was a long shot to win anyway, this revelation all but guaranteed a loss. While members of her party won surrounding ridings, she only captured 16% of the vote in hers.

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Writing Advice: Take a Walk on the Wilde Side.

Oscar Wilde Monument in DublinWe get asked for writing advice all the time; from clients, students and the occasional family member. And while each request requires a different approach, some pieces of writing advice are universal.

Getting to know quips and brilliances from Oscar Wilde is one of those universals.

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A Great Tagline. A Great Company.

A few years ago, we were bouncing around the idea of replacing “Choose Your Words Wisely.” In retrospect, it was a silly exercise because we have a great tagline. But one alternative we quite liked was “Well said. Well read.”

It was objectively good: catchy, well-balanced, thought-provoking. We knew it (or an iteration of it) would find a home somewhere.

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The Ultimate Copywriting/Copyediting Playlist

Listening to a playlistIn 2001, researchers studied how background music affected the quality of people’s writing. The findings showed that “background music significantly disrupted writing fluency” — a fairly cut-and-dry case for writing in silence.

Unless you’re one of those people who finds silence louder than noise. Or you’re the kind of person who feeds off secondary sensory stimulation (creativity in one area is heightened by exposure to creativity in another). In fact, many non-professionals forced into copywriting or copyediting find secondary sensory stimulation to be helpful in tackling the task at hand and feeling good about the results.

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If it’s on the list, we can do it. If it’s not on the list, we can probably still do it. Either way, let’s talk.

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