Learn what's new in style in an October 10 webinar:

 

The Latest In Style: Updates To AP, CMOS And More

 

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What's new

Questions I am frequently asked

Do I affect the effect or the other way around?

The noun is usually "effect," and "affect" is usually the verb. As verbs, to "affect" is to influence and to "effect" is to bring about, as in "effect change," meaning create change.

 

Did I lay down or lie down?

You "lay" something. Annoyingly, "lay" also is the past tense of "lie." If you just took a nap, you say "I lay down for a bit."  Many people say "I laid down for a bit," but we usually reserve "laid" for when there is an object involved: "She laid the scissors on the mantel."

 

Is it ever OK to use "they" to refer to an individual

We do it all the time in speech. In writing, it would sure be useful, wouldn't it? You will find that sticklers stickle, but "they" as a singular, genderless pronoun is gaining acceptance.

 

Beside or besides? Toward or towards?

"Beside" means physically next to. "Besides" means "other than." They used to be interchangeable, but they've grown distinct. Most -ward words are interchangeable, but Americans tend to leave off the "s" while British English writers tend to leave it on.

 

If I'm talking about a cat, is it "awe cute"? "aww, cute"?

Awe traditionally is fear, respect, wonder. Awesome things are usually not fear-inducing these days, but as awesome as your cat may be, you are looking for "aw, cute." Some dictionaries accept "aww, cute" for particularly cute cats.

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Clarity through copy editing

A good copy editor takes on the  role of reader, making sure the author’s point is understood. A good copy editor helps the author and reader connect.

 

Knowledge to share

Presentations range from a seven-minute look at confusable words to day-long workshops on writing, copy-editing, grammar, style guides, and other topics. I'm available via webinar or in person.

 

Writing that makes the point

Projects include researching and writing  marketing documents, business-to-business letters and newsletters, and internal newsletters. I also researched and wrote an institutional history book.

Mark Allen was the first freelance copy editor elected to the executive board of the ACES: The Society for Editing in 2012. He also is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, the American Society of Business Publication Editors, and the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.
Rates are competitive, based on ranges published by the Editorial Freelancers Association and an estimate of the hours involved. We can chat about your budget and make a plan for what will work best. I can also provide proofreading, formatting, and design services.

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Copyright 2018 Mark Allen Editorial LLC

Mark Allen was the first freelance copy editor elected to the executive board of the ACES: The Society for Editing in 2012. He also is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, the American Society of Business Publication Editors, and the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.
Rates are competitive, based on ranges published by the Editorial Freelancers Association and an estimate of the hours involved. We can chat about your budget and make a plan for what will work best. I can also provide proofreading, formatting, and design services.