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One of the things I enjoy doing the least is editing, but I am frequently
asked to "proof" people's documents before they go out to the customer -
everything from a white paper to a 2-page explanation of test results. I
find editing to be the toughest part of the job - how to just review the
mechanics and not the style. It's like one of your less fashionable friends
asking you "how do i look?" and you can't tell them "i wouldn't be caught
dead wearing that!"
And another annoying facet is that I have forgotten the reasons behind some
of the grammatical rules, and i don't have instant recall on the reasoning
when challenged... in fact some are hard to prove that you're right and you
start thinking that you might be wrong.
A client told me: "that" and "the" should never follow each other. Ex:
"verify that the service has started."
It may be that "that" is one of my subconscious writing ticks. Without the
"that," i feel that the sentence doesn't flow smoothly and that "that" sets
up the clause "the service has started."
Any pointers-- on either my current battle or the larger war I am waging -
to keep my fingers off people's style.
Most google results point to thousands of editors that have nothing to do
with the English language, unless I want to shell out some cash to amazon.
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