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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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              Published on March 25, 2019

              How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

              How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

              Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

              But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

              Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

              “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

              It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

              Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

              As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

              As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

              Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

              Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

              1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

              When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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              Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

              2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

              Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

              But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

              If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

              3. Go to All Office Networking Events

              Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

              If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

              Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

              Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

              The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

              Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

              4. Show Initiative

              Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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              Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

              Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

              5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

              Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

              Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

              6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

              A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

              Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

              Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

              A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

              Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

              Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

              These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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              Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

              7. Find a Mentor

              With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

              Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

              Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

              8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

              After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

              What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

              Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

              Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

              You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

              9. Set Your Professional Bar High

              Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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              Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

              Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

              Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

              The Bottom Line

              Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

              “Half of life is showing up.”

              The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

              Remember, your career is your business!

              More Resources About Ever-Growing

              Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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