Three little articles (the, a, an)

They’ll blow your text down… I’m dedicating this post to the definite and indefinite articles because I frequently see them misused. Such tiny little words and yet they hold meaning which can give readers incorrect information and lead to misunderstanding. Incorrect use of articles also makes writing incorrect grammatically and, as editors, we can’t allow … Read more

Common Corrections in Editing Practice

… or how to improve your writing Agreement As the word suggests, agreement is about how words relate to one another. Different parts of a sentence must concur. It’s also known as concord: verbs must agree with subjects and pronouns with antecedents (Liz/she or Liz/her). Tenses must be harmonious. Here is an example that is … Read more

10 Top Tips for Editors

10 things that underlie good editing practice: Correct English convention: A good editor in South Africa knows that South African English relies primarily on British English convention. We have our own local flavour in South Africa but in matters of international practice, we rely on UK language practices. Similarly, a decent editor will be able … Read more

Gender neutrality in writing: he, she or they

What is gender neutrality? Gender neutrality, broadly speaking, refers to practices that do not make a distinction between gender roles. The reason underlying this is to prevent potential discrimination or possibly unintentional exclusion. We are all familiar with traditional social conventions about how women behave or what is expected of men, for example. Gender neutrality … Read more

Plain language in writing: practical, positive preferred.

“Plain words are eternally fresh and fit…capable of great power and dignity.” Bryan Garner, plain language expert. What is plain language? Plain language in writing means that the reader can understand what they have read the first time they read it. This also means they can read it easily. In addition, plain language in writing … Read more