There was a bunch or there were a bunch?! Confusing collective nouns #writing #ptboeditors

“Bottom line: When the collection referred to by the word bunch is made up of people, a plural verb does not jar. When referring to bundles of straw, grass, grapes, cornhusks and the like, pair bunch with a singular verb.” But read this whole article for a more thorough explanation.


Interesting, winding life of a famous editor #ptboeditors #editors

Interesting to read about famous editor Judith Jones today. Her editing career took various twists and turns, and all of us can relate to this winding career path!

New Dictionary of Canadianisms — who knew?! – The Globe and Mail @ptboeditors #copyediting

“Marshall McLuhan once said Canada is the world’s only country that knows how to live without an identity. What more is needed to bind us together than a dictionary with a 4,833-word entry for “eh” and an account of the profound nationalist meaning of “all-dressed” in both official languages?”

Source: Dictionary of Canadianisms is ‘tabled’ and ‘all-dressed’ – The Globe and Mail

“Pay me. Up front. At least half. Then I start work.” —Best Write Communications @ptboeditors #freelancelife #copyediting

“There are two individuals who I will do work for without payments in advance. That’s because if they don’t pay, it means flying pigs are crashing into the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Otherwise, I just can’t afford to bear … Continue reading →

Source: Pay me. Up front. At least half. Then I start work. – Best Write Communications

Tips for Success Working from Home #freelancelife @ptboeditors

When you are self-employed, there’s no clock to punch, no coworker (other than your dog or cat) noticing when you’re not at your desk, and often no one pushing you to meet a deadline. Maybe this freedom and independence is why you chose the freelance life! But some days we may need a push to be as productive as wredpene can be. Here are some tips for ensuring maximum productivity in your workday. You may be newly self-employed and just setting up your work routine, or you may already do these things. Feel free share what has worked for you.



  1. Set up a dedicated work space

To work efficiently and have your job taken seriously, it’s ideal to have an office space of your own. Ensure that everything you will need for work is in this space, with a good work surface, a comfortable chair, and adequate lighting. Don’t allow your family to “borrow” your office supplies, or you’ll have to interrupt your work time to search out your calculator or stapler! How to best organize a home office will be the topic of a future blog post – stay tuned.

  1. Set a weekly schedule

This is key. Determine your work hours and when your breaks and lunch time will be. This may be different from day to day. In my editing work, it’s very important to have long uninterrupted blocks of time for maximum efficiency. So I plan for this and don’t allow interruptions. It’s important to maintain a professional mindset: this is your JOB. As you would for any other job, get up at a regular time, shower, get fully dressed (“to the shoes,” as one home worker says) and show up at your office on time. Resist the urge to work in your pajamas.

  1. Tell everyone your work schedule

It will take time at first to train your family members not to interrupt you during your work time. But no one will take your job seriously unless you do. You will need to tell people that you work from home and what your work hours are. When you see your neighbour after you take your furry coworker for a walk at lunch, end your chat with, “Well, I have to get back to work,” and remind him what that work is (soon the whole neighbourhood will know). As common as freelance work is nowadays, many people (your mom?) still find it unusual and can’t imagine what you might be doing all day long!

  1. Avoid unnecessary interruptions

Your scheduled break times are a good time to check your Facebook, your blog feed, or the news headlines. Try hard to avoid these time suckers during your workday. If you check your browser history regularly (or ask your spouse or a friend to do this), you may be astounded how much time you spend online. It’s very important to stay connected, networked, and informed, but just be selective and disciplined about what you read during your workday.

Unless you are expecting an important call, allow phone calls to go straight to message and return them later, on your schedule, not theirs.

Avoid the temptation to do housework during your workday. I will do laundry on workdays, however, as I like to be able to hang it outside as much as possible. Schedule home chores for other days, when other family members can pitch in!

  1. Keep a timesheet

Set up a method for keeping track of your working hours—what you do with your blocks of time. You can keep a notebook handy on your desk for this purpose, or you can use an electronic timesheet app if that works for you. FreshBooks cloud accounting system is one that I have used and also includes an invoicing feature. There are many other systems or apps—feel free to comment and share what you use.

These are only a few ways you can ensure an efficient workday. What ideas have worked for you?

The Canadian spelling of grey jay/whisky jack is ruffling some feathers @ptboeditors #copyediting

The copyeditor frequently has to explain her spelling or style choices. In this case, it was prompted by the confusion between Canadian and US spelling.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s choice of the grey jay, also called the whisky jack, as Canada’s new national bird has ruffled some feathers — and the correct spelling of the bird’s name has provoked confused and angry comments from CBC readers.

Source: CBC’s spelling of grey jay/whisky jack is not for the birds