Tag Archives: spelling

It Takes A Tribe

What’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys?

Speaking before a tribe of writers!

See you in Colorado Springs May 2-5…


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Teed off

If you don’t know what’s wrong with this picture (or rather, T-shirt) and you intend to write

—a literary masterpiece or a letter to Grandma—you need an editor.

Call me.dumb

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COWG If you’re in Central Oregon mid-August … love to see you!




For more details about the workshop, or COWG, visit their website:


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It’s a Dangerous Job …

Now you know when I say I’m getting a new piece … or working on a magazine , I mean of the Smith and Wesson kind. A big thanks to the clever writing at the ONION.

4 Copy Editors Killed In Ongoing AP Style, Chicago Manual Gang Violence

(New York) Law enforcement officials confirmed Friday that four more copy editors were killed this week amid ongoing violence between two rival gangs divided by their loyalties to the The Associated Press Stylebook and The Chicago Manual Of Style.

“At this time we have reason to believe the killings were gang-related and carried out by adherents of both the AP and Chicago styles, part of a vicious, bloody feud to establish control over the grammar and usage guidelines governing American English,” said FBI spokesman Paul Holstein, showing reporters graffiti tags in which the word “anti-social” had been corrected to read “antisocial.” “The deadly territory dispute between these two organizations, as well as the notorious MLA Handbook gang, has claimed the lives of more than 63 publishing professionals this year alone.”

Officials also stated that an innocent 35-year-old passerby who found himself caught up in a long-winded dispute over use of the serial, or Oxford, comma had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

For the original ONION story:


(Photo courtesy of Arvind Grover

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Maybe tattoo artists should consider investing in a spellcheck program before inking!bad-tattoo.png_full


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Brain Scramble

I was reminded again how useless those weekly spelling tests were – and how insignificant an editor’s contribution can be: 

I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny brainiproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

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Come On Baby, Light My Fire …

flam The English language sure makes the job of editing more difficult.

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YOU’RE Sure to Get YOUR Mind Blown…

I’m always amazed that you’re and your  get so confused with each other. They’re as different as .. well … they’re and their – which also gets  abused in the English language.

I’ve marked up student essays and writers’ manuscripts in big, bad RED ink until I’m BLUE in the face, but to no avail. Perhaps Mac Lethal’s YouTube video rap can get the point across!

(Warning! Some of the language – while grammatically correct – is not rated PG.)

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Warning! Road Closure Ahead

Bend, Oregon, is known to be a mecca for outdoor activities, funky music venues, arts and craft fairs, and brewfests. Perhaps signage should be made before the beer is poured:

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I’m not full of …


I often work myself into contortions trying to stress the importance of proper punctuation … but sometimes all it takes is an example so succinct that the point is driven home without so much as a deep knee bend.

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