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The Nitpicker’s Nook: May’s linguistic links roundup

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 Savanna Scott Leslie

The Nitpicker’s Nook: May’s linguistic links roundup

  • Online tools make plagiarism easier to catch, but plagiarism is still a delicate subject to broach with writers. Adrienne Montgomerie shares some tips that you might find useful next time you query plagiarism. (
  • Beyond plagiarism, sharing feedback with writers can be tough in general! Emma Darwin offers some great advice for ensuring that your feedback is not only respectful, but useful. (This Itch Of Writing: The Blog)
  • Bryan Garner’s The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation came out this month. If you’re not sure whether to pick up a copy, you should check out Richard Adin’s review. (An American Editor)
  • Following up on Adin’s April post about the value of editing, Karin Cather calls for uniform copyediting certification. She proposes universal testing because “it does the profession an injustice when we say that anyone should be able to say they are an editor, even though they have no education, training, or experience.” (Plainly Spoken)
  • The value of editing services may not always be as clear to potential business partners as we’d like, but it becomes especially evident when a grammatical mistake completely reverses the intended meaning. Is that always such a bad thing? Here’s one example where a lack of editing may have changed the Texas Republican Party’s homophobic platform for the better. (NPR)*
  • Rachele Kanigel, the Society of Professional Journalists, and other contributors have released the Diversity Style Guide. This guide to best practices for discussing ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and more is available for free online. (Diversity Style Guide)
  • Conference season is almost upon us! Have you registered for the Editors Canada National Conference on June 10–12 in Vancouver? If you’re on the fence about professional conferences, check out Carol Fisher Saller’s “Should You Attend an Editing Conference?” (The Subversive Copy Editor)

*Thanks to Sara Scharf for submitting this link.

Savanna Scott Leslie is an editor and publishing consultant based in Hamilton, Ontario. She’s also a new and enthusiastic co-coordinator of Editors Hamilton-Halton, and she can’t help but shudder at the word co-coordinator.

This article was copy edited by Nicole North.  

The Nitpicker’s Nook: August’s linguistic links roundup

The Nitpicker’s Nook is a monthly collection of language-related articles, interviews, and blog posts from around the Web. If you read something that would make a good addition, email your suggestion to [email protected].

By Robin MarwickThe Nitpicker's Nook

  • It’s summertime and the living may be easy, but the editor is wishing she were on a patio or in a pool instead of at her desk. Here are some tips for staying focused all year long. (American Copy Editors Society)
  • Ellie Barton is studying for the Editors Canada copy editing certification exam in November. If you’re taking the exam as well—or just thinking about it—why not follow along? (EditorsReads)
  • Having a feel for measurements and an eye for loose ends are important skills for aspiring recipe editors, according to Liz Jones. (Society for Editors and Proofreaders)
  • To hyphenate or not to hyphenate compounds? Is your knowledge out of date? Every editor has probably struggled at least once with a tricky compound. Beth Hill walks us through The Chicago Manual of Style’s useful cheat sheet. (The Editor’s Blog)
  • It’s not always easy for your editorial business to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Louise Harnby says it’s all about the “four Ps” of persuasion. (An American Editor)
  • Establishing a rapport with an author, while remaining professional, can be a delicate balancing act. Adrienne Montgomerie has some suggestions. (
  • Can smiley faces help with that rapport? Erin Brenner thinks emoticons have a place in the editor’s toolkit. (
  • Most fiction editors have heard writers ask the dreaded question: “Do I really need an editor?” Indie author Teymour Shahabi says yes, absolutely, and offers a great primer for authors on why editors are so important and how to find one. (Jane Friedman)

Robin Marwick is a Toronto-based freelance editor, medical writer, content strategist, and dog lover.

This article was copy edited by Jeny Nussey.