copy editing tips you can’t live without
→To help you write with greater confidence, we’ve dipped into our stockpile of grammar, punctuation and spelling tips (aka dos and don’ts). On the blackboard today is this lesson on capitalization, which I classify as “things you should not have to tell people,” on par with “Don’t spit in the water fountain,” and “Don’t flush feminine products down the toilet.” (Questioning my comma placement? We’ll get to that in an upcoming post.) This is a pet peeve for me, because in my former food editor position, I was constantly having to un-capitalize menu items and ingredients sent to me by chefs, restaurateurs and yes, PR reps. We adhered to a specific policy at the magazine, but I still lean minimalist. (As opposed to my overuse of elipsis and emdashes, both habits for which I deserve to be flogged.) If you’re interested in how to style food and cocktail names, here are two posts to stash on Instapaper, the first by @grammargirl and the other by Mark Nichol of the Daily Writing Tips blog. Aren’t you going to have fun at the next time you’re reading a menu or dining column?!
For those looking to lose the jargon (please!), this well-penned post should set you straight. Take my suggestion and read AFTER a cup of coffee. You’ll see why. You’ll also find added value buried in the comments, so don’t cut out early.
To round out today’s copy editing class, we’re hopping over to this list of 27 expendable phrases to slash from your copy. Cash in this info now, and you will instantly improve your writing. There are a few others listed in the comments section, so again, don’t skip them.
There’s more to come, but feel free to add a few of your own resources for improving all of the above. And when you see me make a mistake, have at it; I deserve it. —@eatDEWwrite