Category Archives: Editing

Commas with Pairs of Adjectives


Age, color, shape, material, and nationality are never coordinate.

We adapted this blog post from one of our answers on Yahoo! Answers. The asker asked a common question about whether or not to put a comma between adjectives. 

Question:
Is this comma needed: “I’m a 46-year-old, married woman living in the suburbs”? 

Answer:
The short answer is “No.” 

Now, here is the long answer.  Continue reading

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7 Strategies Obama Uses to Make an Impact


This is not an article about politics. Instead, it is about 7 strategies for creating impact with your words. We will use samples from President Obama’s July 17th weekly address as an example of impact strategies. 

President Obama is a powerful speaker. What does that mean? Being a powerful speaker means that people are interested in what you say and that they react emotionally and cognitively to your message. This is impact. Whether intuitively or consciously, powerful speakers use specific strategies to create impact, and we can study those strategies and learn to use them, as well.  Continue reading

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Dependent & Independent Clauses


True or False: a Dependent Clause does not have a Subject-Verb relationship?

Occasionally, we answer questions on Yahoo! Answers. Below is our response to the question in the title of this blog, chosen as “best” by Yahoo! voters.

Our Answer

False. By definition, a clause has a subject-verb combination, whether it is dependent or independent. Perhaps you are thinking of a phrase, which does not have the subject-verb combination.

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Restoring the Power of Clichés


How a cliché becomes a cliché

When a particular cliché was first used (before it became a cliché), it created an impact. It used words in an interesting and novel way. The person who heard or read the expression might have thought, “Gosh, that’s a really creative way to express that idea.” Then, when other people began to use that expression, they were not clever; they were copycats. Having no interesting ideas of their own, they used someone else’s idea. When many people do this, the once clever expression became a cliché. Continue reading

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Precise Edit Answers a Question Regarding Grammar


Grammar question for cover letter.

I’m not a English native,and i would like write a cover letter therefore, i need a help for the grammar correction :) thanks in advance.

“your commitment to your clients and awareness to their needs (HAS) attracted me
I’m a self driven person, I set my own goal and PUTTING MY EFFORT TO ACCOMPLISH IT.”

is this sounds right? because I’m not sure on this.

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Taking a Bite at Poor Writing


The story is simple and exciting. The writing is terrible. 

Background

Here’s the story, in brief. An “alligator handler” is showing off how he can “handle” alligators, and he gets bitten on the arm. Onlookers are horrified. He escapes and goes to the hospital. (You can read the story and watch the video here: http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/story.aspx?storyid=131699&catid=250

However, once we get past our morbid fascination with the story and look at the writing, we see that the writer has only a loose grasp of punctuation, spelling, and logic. So let’s look at the writing, find the errors, and use this story to point out a few common mistakes. 

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Confusing Such and Like


I own literary books like The Clock Winder by Anne Tyler and The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie.

Do I own those books or not? This is not clear. The problem is the word like.

Many writers use the word like when they mean such as, and this causes confusion. When we’re editing client’s documents, we help improve clarity, i.e., we help the writer communicate what he or she means. As a result, we fix problems with like and such as frequently. Briefly, here’s the difference between the two expressions: Continue reading

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