6 Tips for Effective Proofreading

Can yuu raed htis? You probably can—because your brain is really good at autocorrecting. But that can be a problem when you’re trying to ferret out errors in copy. When you’re reading, you often infer the complete word you expect to see, not the letters that are actually on the page. It’s even harder when

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4 Reasons to Hire a Professional Editor

Pressing “Send” can be the hardest part of writing. After days, weeks, maybe even months or years of work, you are finally just about finished … But wait! Is it really ready to go? Will readers fully understand what you’re trying to say? Will your boss wonder what you’ve been doing with your time? Will

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Vector TalentMEDIA is now TalentMEDIA Services

TalentMEDIA—the publishing and communications arm of Vector Talent Resources—is excited to announce that we will be stepping out on our own as a new company, TalentMEDIA Services! In January 2017, we joined Vector when CEO Marc Berman decided to expand the company’s high-end staffing and placement offerings by acquiring the staffing and outsourcing components of

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Happy 2021!

We are now well into a new year and things are starting to look a little more positive. January finally came after what seemed like the longest 2020 ever. Now February has come and gone. We celebrated Valentine’s day with our loved ones and probably treasured them a little more this year. Now it’s March,

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Subject Matter Experts Need Language Experts

As an editor, when I saw the headline “Research Papers Are Becoming Less Readable,” I thought, “I knew it!” and had to click the link. It led to a posting by the U.K. Royal Society of Chemistry that cited a study of abstracts of more than half a million papers published in scientific journals over

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GETTING READY FOR A SUMMER VACATION?

With social distancing and face-covering guidelines still in place, summer vacations are likely going to look a little different. But one thing will remain the same: At some point we all need a break. Whether it’s a staycation to enjoy some local hiking trails or a socially distanced trip to the beach, however you decide

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Holiday Cookies

Wow! It’s hard to believe that the 2019 holiday season is already here. No matter what holiday you celebrate, the one thing that most people love are cookies. They can be anything from an easy chocolate chip recipe you found on the package of chocolate chips, a homemade recipe passed down from generations, one you

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Planning Your Summer Vacation

It’s nearly mid-June, and by now you’re probably counting down the days until your summer vacation. Whether you are having a “staycation” at home or getting away—to the beach, the park, or some exotic, faraway locale—somehow your job still has to get done. A recent Glassdoor article noted that two in three employees report working while

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Best Practices: Social Media for Business

It is no secret that social media use is at an all-time high today: in early 2015, more than half of all Americans were reported to have a Facebook account and 54 percent of all Facebook users commonly access the site on a mobile device. With this uptick in personal social media use, it was

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Tackling To-Do Lists When You’re Overwhelmed

Is it just me, or was January a year long, February a week long, and now March just feels like a blur of wanting it to be spring already? So far, 2019 has felt like a growing to-do list that never has items checked off. If I’m being really honest, though, of course things are

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The 2019 Pantone Color of the Year

Each year, I’m curious to see which color Pantone picks as its Color of the Year. Colors surround us; they can even influence some of our day-to-day choices without us realizing. Each year, a few colors, for whatever reason—maybe because of popular fashion, TV commercials, or home products—become more popular than others. The 2019 Pantone

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What to Do Before Going on Vacation

Everyone loves a vacation. But as we all know, sometimes the work-related stress that results from time off almost makes it not worth it—desperate messages from colleagues and clients, the mountain of emails to go through upon your return, and of course playing catchup; not to mention the stress put on your coworkers. But it

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“You Said What?” Saying What You Mean, and How to Say It

Does the word discuss mean the same as present? Or healthcare the same as health care? Some would say yes; some, no. The fact is, we don’t always agree on the meanings of words. But if we don’t always agree on the meanings of words, do we always know what we’re saying to each other? Not necessarily.

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Everything Revolves around a Schedule

As a project manager, I often spend my days making sure that projects meet their deadlines. In order for that to happen, I have to make sure everyone involved in that project meets the due dates I’ve assigned to them. That’s the biggest challenge of all. I’m beginning to think that the rise of the

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The Associated Press Stylebook 2018: Keeping With the Times

A bit belatedly, this blog will highlight some changes in the latest edition of the AP Stylebook. For a general overview, also see the What’s New section at the front of the guide. Generally, the main sections have been shuffled around a bit. There is a new Polls and Surveys section that takes the place

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How to Avoid a $46,000 Mistake

A university in Colorado recently realized it had issued over 9,000 diplomas with a typo. In Old English font, they were conferred by the school’s President and the Chair of the Coard of Trustees. The error went unnoticed for six years, until the school newspaper editor caught it on his own diploma. The university is

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Proper Email Etiquette Matters

Email is a wonderful business tool—quick, convenient, and efficient. In fact, it has become such a part of our everyday work lives that many of us probably don’t give a second thought to our email habits … and, yes, some of us have some bad email habits! Remember the seriousness of learning how to write

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That 3 p.m. Haze

It’s 3 p.m. Your eyes have glazed over from staring at a computer, you’ve talked to a mind-numbing number of people, and—against your will—the afternoon haze has begun to set in. Have no fear, your wake-up call is here! Who doesn’t struggle with that feeling of “I just need to look at something else for

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Why You Should Hire TalentMEDIA as Your Communications Team

Do you want to go on vacation this summer and are unsure how the work will get done while you’re gone? TalentMEDIA is a team of copyeditors, proofreaders, graphic designers, web developers, and 508 remediators who can get the work done for you so that you can enjoy that well-deserved vacation. Many people aren’t sure

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Renewed Appreciation

Copyeditors often work under the “no news is good news” principle. We complete our step in the publication process, hand the content along for review or layout, and turn to the next urgent edit in our pile. We may even worry when we see a response from a client about a project we finished pop

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Are You Following the Dictionary?

I check Twitter mostly to follow sports journalists and snarky celebrities, but some days the animosity on the site makes me think about logging out for good. I’ll never do it, though — I’d miss the dictionary too much. One of my favorite things online is the Merriam-Webster Twitter feed. It’s a perfect combination of

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Positivity in the Workplace

People get wrapped up in deadlines, quotas, to-do lists, and having every new project be the next one that could make or break them. The bottom line is that work can be stressful. A healthy, easy way to keep stress down and negative thoughts out is to start looking at the brighter side of things.

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Which Witch is Which?

At the end of a recent episode of Wheel of Fortune, Pat Sajak mentioned that the gameshow’s online shop sold stationery. He went on to say that a lot of people don’t know how to spell the term, because it is pronounced the same way as the word stationary. Vanna White added that one way

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Stay on Top of the Digital Game

Most people say they can’t tell by looking at me (I’ll take that as a compliment), but I’ve been in the publishing business for 28 years now. I’ve done everything from marketing to copyright permissions to proofreading and editing and now I’m doing graphic design and even some social media.   As I was trying

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Exercise Your Brain!

Happy New Year! As is typical at the beginning of each new year, just about every other commercial on TV, in magazines, on billboards, and online will be about getting fit for the new year. Phrases like “Get Fit,” “Get Active,” “Join Now,” and “New Year, New You” are common to hear in January. But

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What’s In A Name?

For those of us in the communications industry, branding is huge. It’s how people know and recognize you. For our team, before we became TalentMEDIA we were a part of EEI. People would hear “EEI” and say, “I know you—you guys are the Editorial Experts! We always use your editors and designers!” We had 45

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Get Your QC On

As an editor, QCing documents for clients or your employer is just part of the job. But do you ever think about QCing items in your day-to-day life? Things like forms, applications, invitations, emails, social media posts? You really should. A QC is a last look at a laid-out document before it is finalized. The

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The Not-So-Clear View

What’s in a name? Well, if your font name is Clearview, I’d say it’s pretty obvious. Apparently, the federal government has decided otherwise. Say goodbye to easy-to-read highway signs. The Federal Highway Administration will be reverting back to their old font, Highway Gothic. What’s the big deal, right? Well, as someone who looks at fonts

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The Power of “Suggestion”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is a beloved institution—I suppose that’s why some of their recent changes have gotten such a strong reaction. I am certainly one of the museum’s admirers, spending many lovely days there with my artist mother. While I wait to get back there again, I’ll delve in

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A Clean Document-The Proofreader’s Nemesis

Proofreaders and editors love good writing. We revel in correct usage and perfect punctuation. But I get nervous when things look too perfect. It seems counterintuitive, but I freeze up a little when I don’t see any mistakes. I know just what to do when I get in the groove of an edit and see

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Lord and Taylor-Rebranding an Icon

I’m not sure if any of you have heard or seen, but the store and brand Lord and Taylor (L&T) has redesigned its logo. The iconic words that we all recognize have been the logo since the 1950s. According to type historian Paul Shaw who contributed an article to Bloomberg Business, “The time has come

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Image is Everything

In today’s digitally advanced world, strong communication skills are a must, both professionally and personally. Organizations are starting to realize that the phrase “image is everything” applies today more than ever, as a strong online image could now very well be a deciding factor for success. With these changes, more and more millennials are capitalizing on organizational

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Not Proofreading Your Work Really Could Have Global Consequences

In the article “How One Word Nearly Killed the Climate Deal,” The Washington Post covered an instance of how a single typo could have had dire consequences for the entire planet. Literally. The typo was noticed by U.S. officials as they reviewed the then-final draft of the climate accord only hours before the final vote:

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The Art of the Editorial Query

Editing is usually a solitary pursuit (blissfully so, in my opinion). We correct grammar, we enforce consistency, we rewrite without explanation when we can. But querying is critical two-way communication. It’s often the only way for an editor to tell authors where text is confusing, meaning is unclear, facts contradict—essentially, where they could lose their

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8 Ways to Achieve Better Work-Life Balance

Being a mother and wife, and working full time can be hectic. Making sure that each area of my life receives my full attention is an even more daunting task. In her Forbes article, “8 Ways to Achieve Better Work-Life Balance,” Jacquelyn Smith quotes Jody Greenstone Miller, an author and chief executive of Business Talent Group: “Consider all

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In Life, There Is No Red Squiggle

My brother doesn’t use a space after a comma in his Facebook posts. That’s right; no space. But I love him—and converse with him online—anyway.   I correct grammar and punctuation for a living; but when a Facebook friend posts about the Golden Globes, hundreds of witty comments fly. If I stop to mentally correct

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Curl Up With A Good Style Guide

My Aunt Jane used to read cookbooks like they were novels, and she was the best cook I’ve ever known. I think I understand the correlation, now that I work with style guides. If you take the time to dig deeply into them, you can learn so much about the craft of editing—and about your

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The Designer Dilemma

I’ve been designing, decorating, illustrating, and organizing for over 20 years. I never imagined I’d make a career out of it. It sort of just happened by accident. I’ve always been that person who sees a design or a project and says, “I can do that.” That’s what I did all through college. Even when

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Grammar Tips – Affect vs. Effect

As a person who deals mainly with numbers on a day-to-day basis, I still need to be able to communicate effectively with my coworkers and bosses. The biggest grammar challenge I constantly second-guess myself on is when to use “affect” or “effect.” Now, I know that “affect” is usually a verb, and “effect” is a

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An Editorial Strut: How the Comma Queen Revitalized My Joy For Editing

The American Copy Editors Society hosted a recent Twitter chat on keeping your focus on editing during the summer. The ensuing conversation had some great tips for breaking up a long work day and managing time. My recommendation for revitalizing your editing is to read Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, by

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How to Talk Baseball with New Guidance from the Associated Press Stylebook 2015

If you’re anything like me, your social media presence consists almost exclusively of talking baseball. I’m a Washington Nationals fan. Many of those posts are a poor attempt to relieve my frustration by venting about the team and our misfortunes—and mishaps. And mistakes. I never feel better afterward, but, as an editor I at least

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What’s New in the Associated Press Stylebook 2015

The 2015 edition of the Associated Press Stylebook became available in late May 2015. The guide includes a “What’s New” page at the beginning of the book, noting changes including new entries in the Sports, Fashion, and Religion chapters; an updated Photo Captions section; and words from the Social Media Guidelines now appearing in the A–Z Stylebook,

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Why Stephen King Says You Need To Know Your Grammar

In July, I was cruising around Amazon and a suggestion popped up. You’ve seen them: You might also want to buy these items. It said I should take a look at Stephen King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. I’m not really an impulse buyer, but I quickly added his book to my

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HOW Design’s #TenThingsNotToSayToADesigner

HOW Design has a hashtag that has me laughing each time it pops up on my Twitter feed: #TenThingsNotToSayToADesigner. It’s not really 10 things, but a list of phrases designers often hear that can drive us a little crazy and give us a good laugh. People from across the web have joined in and tweeted. Here are

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You’re Smarter Than Spell-Check

Spell-checking features are often lifesavers, but they are not all-knowing. An editor learns quickly to read every there/their/they’re and you/your/you’re carefully to make sure the correct version of the word is used for the particular context. As you get to know your clients, you should also build a list of their most easily mistaken words.

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Grammar Tips: When Do You Capitalize a Noun?

My sister, who is a second-grade teacher, gave her students a seemingly simple assignment: List three common nouns. This was part of a lesson on proper versus common nouns, which included teaching the students that common nouns are lowercase and proper nouns are capitalized. Turns out the assignment wasn’t so simple. Being 7-year-olds, most of

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