Do you have a favourite typo? Enter ‘funny typos’ into Google and you’ll find a seemingly endless list of humorous malapropisms, spoonerisms, misspellings and grammatical errors. The most common culprit seems to be Chinese menus, where the names of dishes often get lost in translation (anyone for human sauce?). In many cases, the authors of […]
Have you ever wondered what an editor’s toolkit looks like? I thought it might be useful to examine some of the tricks of the trade that Red Pony editors use when reviewing your documents. Style sheet Whenever we start work on a copyediting project, the first thing the Red Pony editor will do is set […]
People sometimes get hot under the collar when a word (or particular definition of a word) that they consider to be colloquial or offensive, or just irritating, finds its way into the hallowed halls of the dictionary. They assume that the dictionary is saying it is now okay to use that word in polite company, […]
There are different conventions that you can follow when presenting numbers and measurements in a document. There is no single correct method, but observing some generally accepted principles will make your documents clearer for the reader, and will present your organisation in a more professional light.
If your company already has an agreed style guide, you should follow that. But the following tips can help.
One of your first tasks when setting up a new business is to establish a website. Your internet presence is indispensible for advertising your products or services to the world. But what if your website is doing more harm than good?
As we try to keep our noses above the rising tide of grammatical carelessness, let’s pause for a moment to consider seriously this rebuttal to the ‘grammar stickler’ approach: Who cares? Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, an online repair manual, cares. In spades. In fact, if you get your itses and it’ses in a twist, […]
Against our better judgement, Red Pony recently trialled a piece of editing software that, on the face of it, would seem to be our natural enemy. PerfectIt! from Intelligent Editing claims to locate typos and grammatical errors in Microsoft Word documents – which is what the spell checker does already, I hear you say. Yes, […]
When a prospective client recently contacted me and asked for a quote to proofread a set of large documents, naturally I was happy to oblige. After some further discussions to assist in compiling our standard project brief and carrying out a review of a sample document, we were able to estimate the time required and […]
Spelling in the English language can sometimes seem a very arbitrary proposition. Aside from the peculiarities within the language itself, there’s the long list of variations between US and British/Australian usage. Often it’s just the Americans making things simpler by sensibly cutting out redundant vowels (analog/analogue, color/colour, paediatric/pediatric), or de-Frenchifying the ending (center, theater, liter, […]
How often has the spell-checker saved you from a blunder, typo or solecism? How often has it caused one? If your spelling is a total textspeak catastrophe, it can be a lifesaver, but the spell-checker is not an all-knowing oracle. It won’t pick up your mistake if you type a word that’s incorrect for the […]