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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.

              More by this author

              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 July 18, 2019

              How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

              How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

              Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

              However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

              Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

              Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

              There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

              Better Job Offers

              Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

              People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

              Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

              You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

              Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

              A Shot at Entrepreneurship

              Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

              We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

              13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

              1. Update Your Resume

              You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

              Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

              While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

              There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

              2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

              Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

              That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

              To hone this skill:

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              Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

              Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

              This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

              How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

              3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

              Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

              Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

              To hone this skill:

              Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

              4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

              No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

              Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

              To hone this skill:

              Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

              Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

              These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

              The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

              5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

              Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

              How to hone this skill:

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              Practice being resourceful.

              Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

              Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

              No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

              If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

              6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

              6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

              Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

              The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

              Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

              How to hone this skill:

              Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

              Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

              17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

              7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

              Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

              What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

              How to hone this skill:

              Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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              Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

              5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

              8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

              Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

              Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

              How to hone this skill:

              Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

              Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

              What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

              9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

              How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

              Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

              How to hone this skill:

              Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

              Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

              The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

              10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

              Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

              How to hone this skill:

              Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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              Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

              What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

              11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

              Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

              You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

              How to hone this skill:

              All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

              How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

              12. Build Networks and Relationships

              You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

              Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

              How to hone this skill:

              Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

              To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

              How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

              Final Thoughts

              Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

              You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

              Happy career switching!

              More Resources About Career Advancement

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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