- 1. Quick Copy-Editing for the Web
- Jaclyn Law and Kat Tancock
2. 2 Why copy edit? Its your last line of defenseagainst errors like these. 3. 3 Diana, Princess of WhalesCBC.ca 4. 4 Due to a typographical error, a previous version of this article said that the amount of losses fromMondays market collapse was $1,300 trillion.The correct amount is $1.3 trillion. Wall Street Journals Marketwatch.com 5. 4 Source: RegretTheError.com 6. 4 Source: RegretTheError.com 7. 7 From a student newspaper at Brandeis University: The original article provided the incorrect locationof New York Universitys new institution.It is in Abu Dhabi, not Abu Ghraib.Source: RegretTheError.com 8. 8 From a review of a cosmetic-dentistry clinic: Patients can leave up to eight shades whiterafter one sitting. 9. 10. Two key rules for editing your site
11. Develop your skills
- Know your own errors and double-check them
- Try to give yourself at least a day to proofread
- Slow down and really look
12. What is copy editing?
- Editing copy for grammar, punctuation, spelling and usage to make it clean, clear, concise and consistent
- Dealing with word repetition, redundancy, clichs, jargon, lack of logic, offensive or outdated language, etc.
- Ensuring copy works with the layout
12 13. Why you need to copy edit
- Errors confuse and annoy readers. They also reflect poorly on your publication and your brand.
- Copy editing elevates your articles.
- You cant rely on spell-checkers.
13 14. Copy editing tips
- Allow yourself plenty of time and space.
- Invest in good reference books.
- Youll catch more errors on paper.
- Some editors read twice first for meaning, second time to make changes.
- Some editors read with a ruler.
15 15. Repurposing from print
- If cutting, double-check attributions
- Watch for "on page x," "in the chart above"
- Check for info in captions, sidebars, etc.
- Watch for line breaks, end marks, capitalization/drop caps, bullets
- Remove/rework time references and seasonal references
16. How long should content stay up?
- Include a publication date
- If necessary, program an offline date with your CMS
- Butmake sure all URLs go somewhere (even if it's a redirect)
- Know when to back off. Sometimes, preserving personality and colour is more important than perfect grammar.
- Have a reason for making changes. Dont change something just because thats howyouwould write it.
- Dont worry nobody knows everything about grammar and punctuation. The key is knowing where to look up the answers.
17 18. Web editorial process
- Get colleagues' help when you can.
- Never take off your copy editor's hat.
- Use spell-check (but don't stop there).
- Watch for Canadian spelling.
- Double-check everything you typed into the CMS.
19. Make use of the web
- Link out to sources (e.g., Health Canada)
- Check for dead links (validator.w3.org/checklink)
- Google sources' names to double-check spelling (and link to them)
20. Dealing with errors
- Updates at end of article/post
- Date your content and identify source
- Don't make major changes without identifying them to readers
21. Example: cbc.ca 22. Example: wired.com 23. Example: besthealthmag.ca "Updated to add:" 24. Example: canadianmags.blogspot.com Note strikethrough 25. Top 6 things that bug your readers
- Lack of subject-verb agreement
26. 1. Lack of subject-verb agreement
- Singular subjects take singular verbs; plural subjects take plural verbs.
- Avoid choosing the wrong word as the sentence subject e.g., The designers collection of shoes were very stylish. (The subject is the collection.)
- Treat compound subjects (e.g., Sugar and butter) as separate items (Sugar and butter are tasty.)
- Some plural words are mistakenly treated as singular (data, media, phenomena).
25 27. Subject-verb agreement contd
- Some terms get a singular verb even if they sound plural e.g., Two weeks is the typical incubation period.
- Collective nouns (e.g., team, board, group) are single units, so they take singular verbs, except in situations like this one: The committee are debating the budget. (A single unit cant debate itself.)
- Two subjects joined by nor or or take a singular verb if both subjects are singular e.g., Neither Elaine nor Jerry remembers the date of Kramers birthday.
- Two subjects joined by nor or or take a plural verb if the subject closest to the verb is plural, or if both subjects are plural e.g., At our charity events, neither the singer nor the back-up dancers receive payment.
Subject-verb agreement contd 27 29.
- Some words always take a singular verb e.g., anybody, anyone, each, either, neither, every, everybody, everyone, nobody, somebody. (Refer toCanadian Press Stylebook .)
Subject-verb agreement contd 28 30. 2. Sentence fragments
- If your sentence is missing a subject or a verb, its a fragment e.g., The neighbours poodle was barking again. Which she couldnt stand.
- Its OK to use sentence fragments once in a while for effect, or for captions and blurbs where a full sentence isnt needed.
29 Write incomplete sentences occasionally. Like this. To make an idea easier to absorb. For a change of pace.-CP Stylebook 31. 3. Dangling modifiers
- Amodifieris a descriptive word or phrase that limits or quantifies the meanings of other parts of a sentence.
- Dangling modifiersare words or phrases joined to the wrong words in a sentence.
- Dangling modifiers are a serious grammar crime!
30 32. Dangling modifiers contd
- Strolling around Torontos trendy Yorkville neighbourhood, a pair of suede bootsstopped me in my tracks.
- CORRECT:As I strolled around Torontos trendy Yorkville neighbourhood, a pair of suede boots stopped me in my tracks.
- Lush and green, Indiana Jones plunged into the rainforest.
- CORRECT:Indiana Jones plunged into the lush, green rainforest.
Dangling modifiers contd 32 34.
- Roasted to perfection, my husband doused the ribs with barbecue sauce.
- My husband doused the ribs, roasted to perfection, with barbecue sauce.
Dangling modifiers contd 33 35. 4. Comma splices
- Anindependent clauseis a group of words that has a subject-verb combination and expresses a complete thought e.g., Buffy killed the vampire.
- Acoordinating conjunctionis a word (e.g., and, but, or, nor) that joins two or more elements of equal rank, e.g., black or white, poor but happy, love and hate.
34 36. Comma splices contd
- Acomma spliceis the use of a comma to join (splice) two independent clauses in a sentence, where the clauses are not connected by a coordinating conjunction.
35 37. Comma splices contd
- She was my mentor, I learneda lot from her.
- You can fix this by separating the clauses with a period or a semicolon, or by joining the clauses with a coordinating conjunction.
- WRONG:She was my mentor, I learned a lot from her.
- She was my mentor. I learned a lot from her.
- She was my mentor; I learned a lot from her.
- She was my mentor, and I learned a lot from her.
Comma splices contd 37 39.
- Its OK to use a comma splice
- when the independent clauses are short, and especially if the subject is the same:I came, I saw, I conquered.
- when short independent clauses express contrast: He wanted a house, she wanted a condo or Some like it hot, some like it cold.
Comma splices contd 38 40. 5. Faulty parallelism
- Keep the structure of phrases and clauses in a series or sentence parallel.
- Once a parallel structure has been started, readers expect it to continue; the sentence feels awkward if it doesnt.
39 41. Faulty parallelism contd
- 6He put on the dress shirt, tie, the pants and shoes.
- He put on the dress shirt, tie, pants and shoes.