On my first day in publishing, Monday 12 January 1981, I was taken to my desk and shown my in tray, out tray and ashtray. Two office boys in brown coats then arrived, each carrying a thick stack of paper they deposited in my in tray, one pile at right angles to the other. One of […]
I don’t know about anyone else, but rainy childhood afternoons often found me gazing at OS (Ordnance Survey) maps. I would giddily trace paths across dramatically close-bunched contour lines depicting hills and gorges, or along meandering lines drawn far apart to show wide, gentle valleys.
Subject–verb agreement falls into the category of things I wish I’d been taught at school. If you were at secondary school in the late 1960s and early 1970s, you probably weren’t taught grammar.
Every year at Accuracy Matters we proofread more than 75 annual reports for a range of companies. These usually clock in at more than 100 pages each and, as well as talking about a company’s achievements during the year, they also contain a fair amount of statutory and technical material. Not to mention they are almost always written by more than one person and often to a very tight deadline. All of which poses particular issues when it comes to proofreading.
It’s August, and it’s the perfect time to plonk yourself in a deckchair in the dappled shade of a tree and catch up with your stash of crime story reading or viewing.
Nothing beats a reassuring stack of English usage, style and grammar guides. Their well-thumbed pages contain all the help you need to stop badly written English reaching the outside world.
“Astronaut! Doctor! Footballer! Famous!” Few children dream of becoming a proofreader, for they are mostly unaware of what a proofreader is. All I know is that from an early age all I wanted to do was read books – I was fascinated by all those words, their sounds and their meaning. At primary school, mine was the last name called by football team captains, but the first when it came to quiz teams and spelling competitions.