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How and Why We Celebrate May 24

May 24, 2022 - Ronnie Morris

In 2015, family history website Ancestry.ca surveyed 1,000 people across Canada, finding that 36% of respondents had no idea why the country celebrate...

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Beware the Ides of March…Why?

Mar 15, 2022 - Lesley-Anne Longo & Samantha Rohrig

If you haven't looked at a calendar yet today, you might not know that today, March 15, is actually the Ides of March. I'm sure you've heard of it bef...

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Ask the Business Editor: What Is Inclusive Language?

Mar 09, 2022 - Benedetta Lamanna

As a human being, language is one of the most influential tools that you have. As with everything in life, language evolves and you need to ensure tha...

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Festivals of Lights: How the Candles and Lights of Winter Holidays Illuminate the Dark

Dec 15, 2021 - Molly Rookwood

As the world grows dark and cold in the Northern Hemisphere, cultures across the globe would normally gather together to drive away the gloom. However...

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TEC Roundup: Our 6 Most-Visited Blogs in 2021

Nov 17, 2021 - Lesley-Anne Longo

Well, 2021 is coming to an end (where did the year go, exactly?), and as 2022 approaches, it’s hard not to look back on the past year and think about ...

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Everyday Proofreading and Punctuation Marks: What Do They Mean and How Are They Used?

Editing  /  Grammar  /  Usage  /  Proofreading  /  Usage  /  Language & editing
Oct 13, 2021 - Lesley-Anne Longo

Pretty much everyone uses punctuation marks in their day-to-day life, whether it’s in texts, emails, professional communications, business writing, le...

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A Brief History of the Pilcrow: A Worldly Mark on Proofreading

Oct 06, 2021 - Michael Bedford

The ways that linguistic conventions change over time are sometimes obvious. New dialects and turns of phrase crop up, and many of them gradually chan...

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Reflecting on the Number 14: An Auspicious Age for The Editing Company

Sep 08, 2021 - Michael Bedford

The Editing Company is celebrating its 14th year of editorial excellence, and, to mark this milestone, I’m investigating the cultural, numerological, ...

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What You Think You Know Is Probably Wrong

Sep 07, 2021 - Laura Cok

We are pleased to repost this blog by former TEC editor Laura Cok. Laura is currently working as a communications specialist with Indigo Books and is ...

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Take a Break, Editors!

Aug 04, 2021 - Lesley-Anne Longo

Editing is hard work, and sometimes it's nice to take a break from editing a particularly difficult piece of text and have a bit of fun. I've collecte...

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Zero to What? How to Treat Numbers in Different Editing Styles: A Cheat Sheet

Jun 29, 2021 - Lesley-Anne Longo

Here at TEC, it’s our job to provide our clients with the best guidance and advice in the editing and flow of their documents. Recently, we had a clie...

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What Does “Heading A” Mean? Some Key Editing Terms Explained

Jun 16, 2021 - Michael Bedford

Editorial work entails a variety of different jobs. These include substantive editing, line editing, and proofreading. Because the process of editoria...

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Ryerson’s Publishing Program: Insights and Inspirations from Two of TEC’s Editors

Editing  /  Grammar  /  Usage  /  Style  /  Editor/writer  /  Language & editing
Jun 02, 2021 - Ronnie Morris & Samantha Rohrig

Ryerson University’s Publishing Program is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year!    Founded in 1990, the Certificate in Publishing is the larg...

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Canadian and American Spelling in Action: A Sampler

May 19, 2021 - The TEC Team

Canadian vs. American spelling variation isn't a topic we have talked about recently, but it is definitely a subject that continues to remain relevant...

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Active vs. Passive Voice: Understanding How and Why They Work

Apr 28, 2021 - Michael Bedford

Although there are some who would advocate for a world free of passive-voice constructions, an all-out ban on this wrongfully maligned verbal form wou...

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Ask the TEC Editors: What Is the Best Editing Advice You’ve Received?

Mar 24, 2021 - TEC Editors

Spring is here, and as the trees start to bud, and the snowdrops and crocuses start to poke their green tips out of the dirt, it’s hard not to think a...

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What Does “Heading A” Mean? Some Key Editing Terms Explained

Jan 14, 2021 - Michael Bedford

Editorial work entails a variety of different jobs. These include substantive editing, line editing, and proofreading. Because the process of editoria...

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Festivals of Lights: How the Candles and Lights of Winter Holidays Illuminate the Dark

Dec 16, 2020 - Molly Rookwood

As the world grows dark and cold in the Northern Hemisphere, cultures across the globe would normally gather together to drive away the gloom. However...

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Inclusive Writing: It’s Not About Political Correctness

Dec 09, 2020 - Michael Bedford

Inclusive writing is often confused with politically correct writing, but political correctness isn’t an author’s main goal when writing inclusively. ...

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6 Methods of Emphasizing Words and Ideas in Writing

Nov 18, 2020 - Michael Bedford

Emphatic writing allows writers the opportunity to drive home the importance of letters, words, phrases, sentences, and ideas. Aside from mechanical c...

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Confounding Confusables: Part V

Nov 03, 2020 - Lesley-Anne Longo

Our blog series on confusables has remained popular over the years, so we thought it was time to post a new list. This one includes some explanations ...

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Samhain 2020: Unmasking the Origins of Halloween

Oct 27, 2020 - Michael Bedford

October 2020 is drawing to a close, and pandemic-fatigued children and adults are turning to the warm embrace of holiday nostalgia to help ease their ...

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Finding Your Flow: A Self-Study Approach to the Academic Writing Process

Oct 07, 2020 - Mary Goitom, PhD, Guest Blogger

Though I can agree with the adage that anyone can write, we seldom take the time to unpack how people come to the writing process. In my world of acad...

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The Evolving Lexicon of Web Jargon

Aug 04, 2020 - Michael Bedford

In this archived post from 2017, TEC Blogger Michael Bedford muses on how editors deal with an unending stream of technical and internet lingo, with n...

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Keep It Simple: Being a Better Business Communicator

Jun 30, 2020 - Lesley-Anne Longo

Writing in a business environment can often be tricky, but throw in the uncertain times of a global pandemic and a rapidly changing market? Things jus...

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6 Faulty Writing Habits

May 20, 2020 - Lesley-Anne Longo

There’s never a bad time to refresh your writing skills, and now is as good a time as ever (especially if you’re finding yourself with some extra time...

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A Question of Tenses: Which Tense to Choose and Why

Mar 31, 2020 - Molly Rookwood

We use different tenses all the time: I am listening to music. I went to the store on Saturday. I will make broccoli tonight. I am waiting for the tel...

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Leap Years and Years of Confusion: On the Peculiar Origins of Leap Years

Feb 26, 2020 - Michael Bedford

“Thirty days have November, April, June, and September. With 28 there is but one. All the rest have 31,” but not this year. This year, none of the mon...

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7 Tips for Clear and Effective Business Writing

Feb 13, 2020 - Molly Rookwood and Beth McAuley

Chances are good that you will have to do some writing at some point in your business career. And regardless of your field, your writing will have to ...

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Writing an Undergraduate Thesis: Where to Start

Jan 30, 2020 - Molly Rookwood

So, you’ve done your years of studying. You’ve written countless essays and papers and exams. You know enough about a specific subject that you could ...

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Spring Festival: A Brief History of the Chinese New Year

Jan 22, 2020 - Michael Bedford

On January 25, 2020, the Chinese lunar calendar will turn over once again. In preparation for this year’s Spring Festival, I did some research, and pr...

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Festivals of Lights: How the Candles and Lights of Winter Holidays Illuminate the Dark

Dec 04, 2019 - Molly Rookwood

As the world grows dark and cold in the Northern Hemisphere, cultures across the globe gather to drive away the gloom. There are dozens of holidays ce...

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The Nuts and Bolts of Strong Prose: Semicolons, Colons, and Dashes

Nov 13, 2019 - Laura Cameron

Punctuation marks are the signposts of prose. They indicate what’s important and where to pause. They add rhythm to your sentences. They help your rea...

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How to Improve Informal Writing in Business Emails

Nov 07, 2019 - Lesley-Anne Longo

Chances are, you have had a lot of experience or contact with business writing: compiling expense or business reports, writing up contracts, and craft...

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Editing Acronyms and Initialisms: The Almost Impossible Task of Keeping Them Consistent

Editing  /  Grammar  /  Usage  /  Style  /  Usage  /  Language & editing
Sep 11, 2019 - Ronnie Morris

It has been considered a usual style to shorten words in order to save time or space for some time now. Some of us will remember acronyms and initiali...

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Book Review: Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks, by Wendy Laura Belcher

Sep 04, 2019 - Jonathan Adjemian

For academics across disciplines, writing and publishing journal articles is an unavoidable part of professional life. Anyone who’s been or been close...

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12 Things I Learned Working with TEC’s Editing Team

Aug 28, 2019 - Molly Rookwood

Over the years, TEC has grown, acquiring new editors and a new office. One of TEC’s greatest strengths is that its editors work together in the same r...

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Finding Your Flow: A Self-Study Approach to the Academic Writing Process

Aug 21, 2019 - Mary Goitom, PhD, Guest Blogger

Though I can agree with the adage that anyone can write, we seldom take the time to unpack how people come to the writing process. In my world of acad...

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The Return of Confusables: Part IV

Jul 24, 2019 - Lesley-Anne Longo

Our blog series on confusables (a.k.a., easily mixed up words) has remained popular throughout the years, so we thought we’d revive it and take a look...

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A Guide to Decluttering Your Writing, or The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Jul 17, 2019 - Molly Rookwood

When I first considered this blog post, I had a brilliant idea. I’d compare it to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up! I’d call it “Th...

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4 Sessions and 2 Keynotes: Soaking Up Book Buzz at Book Summit 2019

Jun 27, 2019 - Lesley-Anne Longo and Beth McAuley

On June 18, 2019, we attended Book Summit 2019 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. It was a gorgeous day to be on the waterfront — breezy, warm, and not...

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EditorCon: Reflections on the Editors Canada 40th Anniversary Conference

Jun 19, 2019 - Molly Rookwood

On June 7, a perfect, sunny, 20 degree day, I arrived in Halifax. I breathed in the sea air after many months of life in Toronto, headed straight to t...

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Pondering the Meaning and Role of Archaic Words — And, Yes, We Can Still Use Them

May 29, 2019 - Molly Rookwood

A few years ago, I decided to celebrate my love of Regency and Victorian literature by getting a tattoo of the word “ardent,” paying homage to Pride a...

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How to Use the Semicolon to Connect Your Thoughts & Clarify Your Meaning

Apr 16, 2019 - Molly Rookwood

As an icebreaker activity in one of my publishing courses, a teacher asked us to give our names, what we liked to read for fun, and what our favourite...

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To Friend or Unfriend? The Evolution of Nouns into Verbs

Editing  /  Grammar  /  Usage  /  Style  /  Usage  /  Language & editing
Mar 06, 2019 - Molly Rookwood

In 2009, “unfriend” was the Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year, leading to teeth-gnashing of grammar purists across the world. How could th...

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Inclusive Writing: It’s Not About Political Correctness

Sep 18, 2018 - Michael Bedford

Inclusive writing is often confused with politically correct writing, but political correctness isn’t an author’s main goal when writing inclusively. ...

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Man! Unbiased Language Can Be Confusing

Nov 23, 2017 - Barbara Kamienski

A while back, we at TEC were chatting over lunch about Word On The Street, and I mentioned that I had once manned a booth at the event. The reaction w...

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Subject-Verb Agreement

Sep 21, 2017 - Barbara Kamienski

  It's pretty simple, right? A singular subject takes a singular verb, and a plural subject takes a plural verb. The dog is barking. The dogs ar...

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The Affected Effects of Impact

Jul 27, 2017 - Michael Bedford

Language and the way we use it is undeniably fluid. One doesn't have to look far to find idioms and words that have changed their wording and subseque...

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A Crash Course on Political Language from Roosevelt by way of Trump to Orwell

Jun 15, 2017 - Michael Bedford

    The political world gets progressively denser every day, especially the world of US politics. And, though Canadians often pretend at b...

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Myths & Superstitions of the Theatre: Where Do They Come From?

Mar 29, 2017 - Michael Bedford

    I'm set to play Jack Manningham in The Tipling Stage Company's production of Gaslight. And because the play, Patrick Hamilton's psycho...

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Words of the Year and Where They Come From

Jan 18, 2017 - Lesley-Anne Longo

        What do the words Y2K, plutoed, tweet, e-, they, and bailout have in common?   Simple. They ha...

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Crossing the Pond: One Editor’s Transition from Canada to the UK

Nov 24, 2016 - Melissa MacAulay

  The past few years in Toronto have been very eventful for me: I've defended my PhD thesis, got married, started my freelance editing career, a...

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“G’wan, B’y”: A Primer on Cape Breton English

Oct 28, 2016 - Melissa MacAulay

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of introducing my husband and my 7-month-old son to the lovely island of Cape Breton, where my parents grew up....

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A Halloween Word Treat from The Editing Company

Oct 05, 2016 - TEC Team

Halloween fast approaches, and you may have noticed pumpkins and scarecrows appearing on your neighbours’ stoops, and ravaged racks of cost...

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5 Best Grammar Blogs for Authors

Jul 27, 2016 - Lesley-Anne Longo

Hello, TEC blog readers! It's been a glorious summer so far, and we hope you have had ample time to enjoy the weather. This week, we are re-posting Le...

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Canadian and American Spelling in Action: A Sampler

Jun 08, 2016 - Compiled by the TEC TEAM

  Still puzzled by the different Canadian vs. American spellings? Drawing on the three blogs Barbara compiled (A to G, H to P, and Q to Z), we h...

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To Boldly Go: An Editor’s Journey Beyond the Infinite

Jun 01, 2016 - Chris Cameron

  Q: How many editors does it take to split an infinitive? A: Just one, but he has to really be persuaded. If, as Dr. Johnson said, patriotism...

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Canadian and American Spelling: Your Guide from Q to Z

May 18, 2016 - Barbara Kamienski

Stop right there. Did you read "queue to zee"? If you did, you're using American pronunciation. Up here in the land of butter tarts and ...

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Editing the New Language: Shifting Gender Norms and the Grammatical Conventions

Apr 27, 2016 - Amy Verhaeghe

The "They" Debate The use of "they" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun has been the subject of much debate in the publishing wo...

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Toronto Place Names and What Not to Call Them

Apr 20, 2016 - Chris Cameron

  Every city has its own peculiarities of spelling and pronunciation. Some things you just have to know – such as the fact that the first ...

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Canadian and American Spelling: Your Guide from H to P

Apr 13, 2016 - Barbara Kamienski

Variety Is the Spice of Life It's hard to believe that a whole month has gone by since we posted the first part of our Canadian and American spelling...

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Why English is So Hard: A Poem

Apr 01, 2016 - The TEC Team

It's April Fool's Day, and in lieu of pulling pranks, we've got humour of a more literary nature in mind. With April being National Poetry Month ...

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Canadian vs. American Humour: Is there a Difference?

Mar 23, 2016 - Chris Cameron

  A 2012 article by Bruce McCall in Vanity Fair attempted to unravel the secret of Canadian humour (or "humor" as the magazine spelled...

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Canadian and American Spelling: Your Guide from A to G

Mar 09, 2016 - Barbara Kamienski

  Vive la Différence! We all know that there's a difference between Canadian and American spelling,* and many of us have a basic grasp o...

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Wab Kinew: The Power and Politics of Language

Oct 07, 2015 - Alanna Brousseau

On September 28, musician, academic, and activist Wab Kinew addressed a full house at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bluma Appel Salon. The e...

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Inclusive Editing: Beyond Political Correctness at the Editing Goes Global Conference

Aug 19, 2015 - Barbara Kamienski

  Since the term political correctness entered mainstream usage in the 1990s, it's been richly scorned and lampooned. Maybe this is because to s...

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2 Experts Explain ESL Editing Plus

Jul 22, 2015 - Barbara Kamienski and Melissa MacAulay

  Editor Barbara: She's Been There!   So you've been in Canada for a while now, and you've gone from understanding very little English to ...

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An American Editor in the Land of the Canadian Oxford

Mar 25, 2015 - Kaci Schmitt

  As a freelance editor working for clients from all over the world (and currently based here in Portland, Oregon), I have to be aware of the...

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3 English Morphs That Are Driving Me Crazy

Feb 24, 2015 - Melissa MacAulay

Don't get me wrong—I appreciate that the English language is constantly changing and evolving. And I know that my job as an editor requires...

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Writing Your Holiday Cards: Do's and Dont's

Dec 08, 2014 - Lesley-Anne Longo

Ahhh, the holidays. I don’t know about you, but I always love opening up the mailbox during the holiday season—there’s almost alwa...

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Academic Writing: Sacrificing Information in the Name of "Gobbledygook"?

Dec 02, 2014 - Melissa MacAulay

Earlier this year, University of Toronto Press’ Journal of Scholarly Publishing featured a book review of Michael Billig’s Learn to Write ...

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5 Best Grammar Blogs for Authors

Oct 08, 2014 - Lesley-Anne Longo

Grammar quiz: When is it appropriate to use “whom”? Answer: You would use "whom" when you refer to the object of a sentence. ...

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Quirky Canadianisms: Canadian English as Our Cultural Heritage

Aug 04, 2014 - Karen Kemlo

Lately there has been a fair bit of news coverage dedicated to Canadian English as a language—what it is, why it’s important, and how it...

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American versus Canadian Spelling: It all Started with Noah

Apr 21, 2014 - Karen Kemlo

Why do Canadians persist in spelling certain words the way we do? Is it a Canadian quirk that we keep all of our British “-our”endings b...

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When Text Speak Enters Our Spoken Conversations

Jan 14, 2014 - Mary Ann Mazey

There’s no question that, for better or worse, texting has brought about a whole new kind of written communication. Certainly, the way we spea...

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A Quick Guide to 5 Online Grammar Resources

Dec 26, 2013 - Sara Rozenberg

As editors, we use style guides and resources for particular projects to ensure that we follow consistent guidelines. Every now and then acquaintanc...

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2 Simple, Everyday Vocabulary Rules

Nov 26, 2013 - Mary Ann Mazey

 I’d like to take a look at two pairs of words that are increasingly, incorrectly interchanged. No, I’m not talking about your/you&...

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A Halloween Word Treat from The Editing Company

Oct 18, 2013 - Mary Ann Mazey

Mid-October is that wonderful time of year when the air takes on a fresh new chill, the leaves turn their rich autumn colours … and rubber ba...

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A North American English: From Imperial to Metric and Other Word Choices

Jul 18, 2013 - Avery Peters

A Road Trip   Last month, my husband and I went on a road trip in California. It was a welcome relief from a crazy winter of study. We sh...

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What's the Deal with Canadian Spelling?

Jun 27, 2013 - Nina Hoeschele

  I have a good friend who's a copy editor, just like me — except that she does it about 700 kilometres southeast of here. Or, in her es...

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The Tyranny of "He or She"

Jun 14, 2013 - Jessie Hale

The Chicago Manual of Style and I disagree on something.   This almost never happens. I look at Chicago the way some people look at the Bibl...

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Struggles in Translation: The Tables Are Turned in Germany

Nov 23, 2011 - Nina Hoeschele

Earlier this month, I said a temporary farewell to the TEC office and headed across the ocean. One of the stops on my two-week European journey was so...