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New Proofreading and Copy Editing Course

September 18th, 2009

Two or three weeks ago I mentioned the correct use of the apostrophe and nailed my colours to the mast as a keen supporter of the ‘tadpole’. But I could just imagine some of you sitting at home thinking: Hold on a minute, that’s a bit rich coming from someone who works for an organisation called The Writers Bureau. Surely it should be The Writers’ Bureau.

You’re absolutely right but according to Lynn Truss in her humorous book on punctuation ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’, companies and organisations have discretion over whether to use an apostrophe or not. When WB was set up in 1989 it was decided that in advertising headlines the name looked better without an apostrophe – and the rest, as they say, is history!

And that brings us on to the exclamation mark. Don’t you just hate it when writers pepper their work with them? F Scott Fitzgerald is quoted as saying: “Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.” But I must admit that I always have to go through my writing slashing stray exclamations marks, as they do tend to worm their way in.

The other thing I have to keep a close eye on is typos. Because we’re the writing experts, people are always keen to point out when we get something wrong in our course material or on our website. And I can guarantee that even if you read something time and time and time again – as soon as you upload or print it you’ll spot a missing word or spelling mistake.

That’s why we’ve introduced a new Proofreading and Copy Editing course. It’s useful not just for writers but for anyone who has to check the printed word in their daily work. And by the time you’ve finished it you’ll be an expert on apostrophes, exclamation marks and lots of far more important and interesting things! (Oops – time to get out the red pen.)

Until next week…

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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