Friday, 28 October 2016

Editing 101 - eResources for Awesomeness

I had a teacher in university whose favourite phrase was, "Look it up."

Me: How do you spell "discombobulate"?
Teacher: Look it up.

Me: Is there such thing as editing certification?
Teacher: Look it up.

Me: If my Word processor misplaces my page break one more time, I am going to lose my marbles. How do I fix it?
Teacher: Look it up.

Infuriating and unhelpful as it seems in the moment, it is the best advice on earth. We learn by doing and having someone hand you the answer is a one-way ticket to always needing someone to hand you the answer.

This is why built-in grammar and spell checkers are kind of silly -- well it is one reason. Another reason is this:

Spell cheque is a waist of thyme.

Just sayin'.

Anyway, for total awesomeness in documents and publications, check out my favourite places to look up grammar, spelling, and citation rules. I love the quick, searchable indexes and the no-nonsense plain language.

Purdue Owl >> Citations, language use, parts of speech, writing tips you name it. A one-stop shop for topical direction, complete with examples.

Grammar Girl >> Grammar, spelling, word choice / use, and general rules of verbal fluency. She can be a bit wordy, but I appreciate the explanations and examples so I can be sure the knowledge will stick.

Canadian Press >> Favour or favor? Travelling or traveling? Cell phone or cellphone? If may not seems to matter, except it does for consistency, to meet institutional or professional guidelines, and for general correctness. Canadian Press style books are fantastic, but you have to pay for them. A subscription (your best bet because updates are in real time and language is changing all the time) is about $4/month.

If you want a reliable, unequivocal resource for Canadian citation, spelling, and grammar another option is a good ole' fashioned book -- dictionary, thesaurus, style guide, grammar guide. They can all help keep your writing and research in order. Need some suggestions?

Look it up.

No comments:

Post a Comment