Editing Guides

Subject: Editing Guides
From: "Jill Mohan" <jillemo -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 10:15:17 -0400

Hello -

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.

Thanks much!
Jill Mohan

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
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