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20 Things Only Editors Understand

20 Things Only Editors Understand

When you spend a good amount of your time going through all kinds of manuscripts and articles, you learn that not everyone shares your passion for proper grammar. Many people feel that creativity and the overall message they want to convey trumps any sort of rules that govern written language, and this is something that drives editors crazy. We tend to be a bit nerdy, sometimes bordering on militant, when it comes to grammar rules, but it’s only because we enjoy our work. After a while your job changes you, so there are plenty of small things that have a big emotional effect on editors, which other people just don’t get. If you are in this line of work, you will definitely understand these little struggles.

1. We have a deep appreciation of commas

Comma

    Most people don’t use them nearly as much as they should, and when they do it’s usually in place of a good old full stop.

    2. We get OCD about checking every little detail over and over

    Sometimes it’s difficult to be sure whether or not you’ve missed a minor mistake, so you get into the habit of checking everything multiple times.

    3. We start to apply our critical eye to real life events as well

    All that attention to detail tends to carry over into regular life, making editors overly cautious and unable to make decisions without double-checking everything.

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    4. We’ve lost count how many times we’ve had to correct simple spelling mistakes like form instead of from

    These may seem like simple mistakes, but they can often change the meaning of the entire sentence, and you have to go back to correct them. After a while, you start feeling like someone is doing it on purpose just to mess with you.

    5. We face-palm every time a word underlined by Word is left uncorrected

    Facepalm

      Hey, we live in a wonderful modern world where programs like Word come with a decent spell check function, and yet some people don’t have the common courtesy to clean up the biggest mistakes that get underlined as they write. It makes you lose faith in humanity a tiny bit at a time.

      6. We become a free editing service for our friends

      You know that wonderful feeling when you’re a bit lonely and a friend calls you up? Well, imagine the disappointment when all they want is for you to do a bit of editing for them. Sure, they’ll owe you one or buy you a drink the next time you go out, but you still end up spending Saturday night in front of the computer.

      7. We end up irritating people because we can’t resist correcting their texts

      When our friends actually ask us to go out for some drinks with them, our editorial instincts take over and we end up correcting their grammar. Quick tip – most people are in a hurry and don’t worry about grammar when texting, so they tend to get very annoyed when you slow down the conversation in order to correct them.

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      8. We cringe every time someone uses further instead of farther

      Cringing

        Seriously, a chill will go down an editor’s spine when he or she hears someone say: ”How much further do we have to go?”.

        9. We have to bite our tongue when our dates make glaring grammar mistakes

        Picture a lovely night out – you’re having dinner with a lovely guy or girl, you’re hitting it off and things are going great. Then, all of a sudden, your date makes a glaring mistake that you feel compelled to correct. However, you’ve had your share of dates get offended by your comments, so you summon all your strength and willpower, and just let it slide.

        10. We call up other editors to discuss funny mistakes

        Oh yes, we simply can’t keep our nerd rage bottled up. We have to share some of the funniest mistakes we come across with fellow editors, and we have some good laughs.

        11. We want to cry when people misuse “per se” while trying to sound smart

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        Vampires per se

          “I don’t believe in God per se, but I am religious” – lines like these will leave me on the verge of tears. If you don’t quite know how to use a word or phrase, you should just leave it alone. It’s safer for everyone that way.

          12. We are here to help you polish up your manuscript, not to ghostwrite it for you

          If someone has a decent manuscript that he or she has gone over a few times before sending it in for editing, then we can point out all the little mistakes and help the writer polish everything up. However, some people will send us an incoherent mess that lacks any semblance of proper structure, expecting us to fill in the blanks. Well, good luck with that.

          13. We look to the heavens, arms raised high, when we see a long and incoherent sentence

          Long, incoherent sentences that stretch on and bombard the reader with unconnected bits of information are the bane of every editor’s existence. They are what happens when a person swears a death oath against full stops, and abuses commas in dark and twisted ways.

          14. We get baffled by people who still try to copy material in the age of copyscape and similar services

          Once in a while you still get the odd plagiarist who has discovered the uncanny power of copying and pasting chunks of text, and thinks he or she can just cobble up a Frankenstein’s monster of an article and slip it past you. We are not even angry at you at this point, dear misguided soul, just slightly baffled and disappointed.

          15. We can’t bear to spend time on social media, lest we go blind with nerd rage

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          twitter grammar

            Too many… incorrectly spelled… words… Grammar, not even once. Must ignore.

            16. We find your lack of grammar skills disturbing, and we don’t think you’re fully aware of that fact

            Take a good look at that sentence. That is how you use “your” and “you’re” properly. See, it’s not that difficult.

            17. We sometimes go with “The Grammar Police” costume for Halloween

            It’s corny and even fairly silly, but we do feel a certain sense of authority, so a Grammar Police uniform seems quite fitting. It’s not like we wear it around the house or while we are editing. Alright we do, but not every day. Hey, at least it’s not a sexy Grammar Police costume.

            18. We want to throw our laptop across the room when we see a word repeated a dozen times in a short paragraph

            IT crowd monitor throw

              Sometimes you can’t really avoid using a particular word several times in a paragraph, but when there’s a particular word popping up in every single sentence then it’s time to throw some synonyms into the mix.

              19. We jump in excitement and pinch ourselves on the rare occasion when we can’t find any big mistakes

              It is rare, but you can sometimes hear editors telling tales of an error free article in a hushed voice. Few have had the pleasure of coming across this mythical beast, but those who do encounter it are said to stare in disbelief, stunned and awed by its glorious appearance.

              20. We will burst into a hate-filled rant upon hearing Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”

              No Alanis, it is most decidedly not ironic, no matter how many spoons you have. That’s just not even close to the actual meaning of… You know what, I’m not even going get upset about it. It’s a stupid song anyway. I hope some of the fellow editors, who share my pain, can at least have a few good laughs while reading this article or perhaps just nod their heads knowingly with a little smile on their face.

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              Ivan Dimitrijevic

              Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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              Last Updated on November 19, 2019

              Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

              Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

              I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

              How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

              Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

              So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

              1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

              Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

              For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

              Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

              “When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

              2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

              These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

              This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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              But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

              Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

              For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

              There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

              3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

              It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

              Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

              4. Use Your Phone Wisely

              Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

              If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

              5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

              If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

              In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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              One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

              6. Use a “To Don’t” List

              We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

              But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

              Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

              7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

              When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

              Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

              “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

              And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

              8. Be Concise

              Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

              One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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              Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

              • Making new contacts
              • Talking about yourself at a job interview
              • Meeting people at conferences or parties
              • Phone calls to new clients

              9. Ask the Right Questions

              “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

              How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

              When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

              Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

              Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

              10. Learn as Much as You Can

              You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

              Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

              “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

              11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

              No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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              If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

              What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

              Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

              12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

              As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

              But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

              The Bottom Line

              The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

              Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

              More About Working Smart

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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