The Nitpicker’s Nook is a monthly collection of language-related articles, interviews, and blog posts. If you read something that would make a good addition, email your suggestion to [email protected]
By Carol Harrison
Does the current state of world affairs leave you without words? Thankfully Planet Word, the soon-to-be museum of linguistics in Washington, DC, won’t be. And did you know there is also a National Museum of Mathematics in New York? For me, both celebrate languages.
On January 14, Zhou Youguang died at 111 years old. If you’ve learned to read and write Mandarin using Hanyu Pinyin, you have him to thank.
Pardon me while I geek out. I can’t say enough good things about the movie Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve. Finally, a science-fiction film that’s about communicating with aliens, not shooting them up! If you’ve watched the trailer, you’ve seen a sample of how the language looks. Wired’s Margaret Rhodes talks to the people who created the alphabet. Oh, and a shout-out to Jessica Coon, an associate professor of linguistics at McGill University and Canada Research Chair in Syntax and Indigenous Languages, who consulted on the film! Now I’m off to find Ted Chiang’s 1998 novella “Story of Your Life” on which all this is based.
Back down to earth, or perhaps flying a few feet above the ground, the BBC’s Andrew Evans finds out how falconry sank its talons into the English language.
Have current events got you riled? Do you plan to join a march? Want your placard to pack extra punch? Let linguist Daniel Midgley help.
Carol Harrison is editor-in-chief of BoldFace and freelance editor and writer at Muse Ink. When she isn’t focusing on words, she’s focusing her Nikon D3200.
This article was copy edited by Ambrose Li.
If you joined Editors Canada with hopes of meeting other editors, this is the program for you. Join us Wednesday, February 22, 2017, to commiserate with your fellow editors, learn from them, share a funny story, and hear others’ stories from the editorial trenches.
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Ave., Room R202. The building is fully accessible, and coffee will be served at 7 pm.
7 PM Mingling and informal Q & A session for new and prospective members
7:30 PM Announcements and business meeting
8:00 PM Program
9 PM Mix and mingle
Taxes can be like monsters under your bed: they’re scary because you don’t know what lurks there. This seminar takes the fear away by taking the mystery away. In three entertaining hours, you’ll learn how to reduce your tax bill and keep the Canada Revenue Agency happy at the same time. Learn which expenses are allowed, what it means to incorporate or register for the GST/HST, and how to avoid the pitfalls that get the CRA steamed.
We’ll cover the advantages and responsibilities that come with being a freelancer and running your own business. By the end of this seminar, you’ll feel confident about your taxes, and, with the worry off your mind, you’ll be ready to devote more of your mental energy to what you do best: your work! (more…)
This webinar provides an introduction to styles in Microsoft Word for those who are new to styles of don’t feel comfortable with them yet. The key learning objectives of the webinar are
- what styles are and why they’re useful,
- what types of styles you can use in Word,
- how to apply existing styles, and
- how to create your own styles.
Date: Wednesday, February 22
Time: 2 p.m., EST / 11 a.m., PST
Length: 1.5 hours
Member price: $56.25
Non-Member price: $75
Mike Pope has been a technical writer and editor in the software industry for over 30 years. He lives in the Seattle area.
By Shara Love
There is little that I despise more than going out in crowds, especially at this time of year. With sub-zero temperatures, mounds of snow at every turn, and traffic everywhere, nothing sounds better to me than staying home and cozying up on a comfy sofa with a cup of coffee and a computer or a good book, while waiting for spring. Unfortunately, it behooves me to do otherwise. Winter may encourage my hermit-like behaviour, but I must not succumb to the negative side effects. My mental health and ability to function depend on it.
One of those negative side effects is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), up to 35 per cent of Canadians experience some level of seasonal depression. Of this percentage, seasonal depression affects roughly 80 per cent of women and 20 per cent of men. Knowing and raising awareness about this condition may help potential sufferers to take preventative action to dodge the blows of this debilitating mental disorder. (more…)
Making contact with a potential client is good, getting a potential client to sign a contract is better. Do you have a method you use in order to ensure that the potential client you make contact with becomes a client you contract with?
Editors Canada wants to hear about the tips and tricks you use to close the deal with a potential client. The submissions we receive will be included in the first in a series of editing-related chapbooks from Editors Canada, this one entitled From First Contact to Signed Contract.
We’re looking for submissions of 500–700 words by March 1, 2017. So, submit your tips to Michael Bedford and encourage your colleagues to submit as well so that you can become an important part of this milestone publication from Editors Canada.
By Michelle Waitzman
The new year started with a bang for the Toronto branch’s monthly program. The first event of 2017 dispensed with the usual presenter–audience format and devoted the evening to speed networking.
Nearly 20 participants paired off to get acquainted for seven to eight minutes at a time. Icebreaker questions were provided for anyone who was uncomfortable striking up a conversation out of the blue. At the end of each session, everyone found a new partner and began again. This cycle repeated six times, and participants were then invited to stick around to continue their conversations after the official networking ended. I spoke to some of the participants at the beginning of the evening about what they were hoping to get out of the session.
For University of Toronto student Rosie, the event was an opportunity to explore editing as a career option. She is not yet an Editors Canada member, but she has been doing some editing work for her fellow students and may want to continue editing after graduation.
Adrineh recently joined Editors Canada on the recommendation of one of her editing instructors at Ryerson. Adrineh currently works in corporate communications and she’s taking courses to hone her editing skills. She wanted to meet people who had made the leap to full-time careers in editing. (more…)
Whether you work in-house or freelance, on fiction, non-fiction, or textbooks, you’ll sometimes be asked to decide if a manuscript is publishable. Even more intimidating, you’ll be asked to comment on how to make it publishable. If you’re new in publishing, you’ll likely be asked to take care of the slush pile. What do you look for? How do you organize the evaluation? If you are a freelancer, how much do you charge? And how do you gently tell a writer to consider another career (more…)