The Editorial Apartment

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Reminder: Language changes

The other day, I got in the “10 Items or Fewer” line at my local Trader Joe’s market. The sign said “fewer” and not the more often seen “less.” That’s not a problem, but they didn’t have to change it, according to noted linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker. (See the article cited in a previous post about rules of English you can break.) This British comedian agrees:

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How to save a long sentence

longsentencegirlSome sentences are so long that as your reading, you get lost midway and your eyes have to jump back to the beginning of the sentence, wherever it was. Better to rewrite a long sentence into smaller bites of course.

But why did you get lost? It may be because the verb was too far away from the subject. Put them closer together and you could save the sentence. (There’s nothing wrong with an occasional long sentence.) This article on, a communications publisher, explains the trick.

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Fun infographics

I like a good infographic, and this is an interesting one about the satiety of food (by Column Five for Massive Health). This type of project would be a joy to research, write, edit and proofread, as well as design.


The piece seems suitably researched, but keep in mind that infographics simplify things on purpose to a certain extent. I always look to see if good sources were used, if the data is accurately represented, etc., some of the things I’d double-check as an editor. (Just look at the examples The Guardian gives here of some particularly bad infographics.)