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 from around the Web. If you read something that would make a good addition, email your suggestion to [email protected].

The Nitpicker's NookBy Robin Marwick

  • PerfectIt, a popular Word add-in that helps you edit faster and more consistently, has just released its third version. Adrienne Montgomerie’s review of PerfectIt 3’s pros and cons may help experienced users decide whether they want to upgrade — and fence-sitters like me decide whether to finally take the plunge. (The Editors’ Weekly)
  • The self-publishing boom is creating a growing niche for independent editors and designers. Simon Owens interviews two editors who have succeeded in the world of indie publishing. (PBS MediaShift)
  • Of course, “traditional” publishers haven’t gone away; in fact, they’re contracting out more work than ever. For editors who are interested in pursuing freelance work with publishers, Louise Harnby has some guidelines for writing “cold” cover letters. (Louise Harnby)

  • Carolyn Haley also has advice for newcomers to fiction editing on how to find clients, as well as some tips on which markets pay better. (An American Editor)
  • If there’s one question every freelancer has struggled with at some point, it’s “How much should I charge?” Dawn McIlvain Stahl has collected a number of rate calculators to make the calculation simpler, but reminds us that setting your rate isn’t just a question of how much the market will bear; another important factor is how much you need. (
  • Unfortunately, not all indie authors understand why editing costs what it does. In this comprehensive post, Allison K. Williams explains why editing is expensive, what an editor does, and how authors can get the most value for their editing dollars. (The Writers Bloc)
  • Is your home office just a little too quiet? Or, conversely, are your colleagues talking on the phone while you try to work? MyNoise could be the answer. Choose from coffee shop sounds, natural and synthetic noises, soundscapes, and more. (MyNoise)
  • Whether you’re an Anglophile, a puzzled visitor, or just a fan of the English language in all its permutations, you’ll probably find something to enjoy on this blog about British and (North) American English. (Separated by a Common Language)
  • One of those quirks of English relates to the overlapping verbs “lie” and “lay.” Comma Queen Mary Norris reflects on how they work, with apologies to Bob Dylan. (The New Yorker)

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

This article was copy edited by Karen Palmer.

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