1. Commas are a writer’s best friend – except when she needs a semi-colon.
No hyphen in semicolon.
2. An editor is a writer’s indispensible ally. And in my case, they’re part of the same lucky package.
Yeah, an editor who can SPELL is a godsend, but one who can’t is the pits. As luck would have it, it’s indispensable. Brother!
Plus, there’s the old noun-pronoun agreement problem: “an editor” is singular, but it is paired with the plural pronoun “they.” Wrong, wrong, and wrong.
3. But Oh no!
Need a comma after “but”: But, Oh no!
4. Whether your content needs a pick-me-up, or you’ve hired me to write something new for you, our editing experts (‘yours truly’) will channel their perfectionist tendencies to ensure correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and that transitions appear cohesive.
Rule: Always start with double quotes in American English. And no comma after “or,” either, since you start with “whether,” which makes the “or you’ve hire me…” clause necessary to the meaning of the sentence—in other words, it’s not parenthetical. And, I hate that last bit. I would have left that off entirely. Plus, I love a good serial comma! Now that I look at this sentence again, it strikes me that the aside—(“yours truly”)—is a little too juvenile; too mom-and-pop; too, well, cute. It’s as though there’s a giggle somewhere in there.
Suggested: Whether your content needs a pick-me-up or you’ve hired us to write something new for you, our editing experts will channel their perfectionist tendencies to ensure correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.
Sorry, I didn’t find any “perfectionist tendencies” here! In fact…
5. Get energizing updates and a FREE download of “10 No-Brainer Trips for Writing a Great Blog”.
Um, “No-Brainer TRIPS”??? Wow, wow, and wow. No-brainer rule #1: Put your content into Microsoft Word BEFORE you post it. No-brainer rule #2: READ what you write BEFORE you post.
No-brainer rule #3: Commas and periods always go inside quotation marks in American English. There. Are. No. Exceptions.
6. I offer Editing services for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Yeah, well, so do I, but I’d never capitalize it.
7. We offer writing services for small businesses, entrepreneurs, public speakers, and thought leaders.
Can we quit with the “thought leaders” already? That’s one sure sign you’re a sheep, and not a wolf. Baa, baa.
8. Get Organized.
Well, this was a title of sorts, so I’ll let it slide.
9. Prior to doing this work, I was an urban planning consultant for non-profit organizations working in developing countries.
10. I have devoted my entire business to serving people who struggle with the confusion and overwhelm of content marketing and who really, really want to connect and be understood.
Speaking of struggling with confusion, what’s that bit about “overwhelm”? You can be overwhelmed, something can be overwhelming, but…the overwhelm of? Overwhelm (and its variations) can be a verb, an adverb, or an adjective, but one thing it is not is a noun. I’m, um, like, really, really, really underwhelmed!
11. I recommend BNI to any entrepreneur who wants to up their game.
Noun-pronoun problem: “entrepreneur” is singular, “their” is plural. Plus, “up their game” is tired; let’s all give it a rest. Oh, I know! Let’s bury “up their game” in the same deep, dark grave with “thought leader.” How I HATE that phrase.
This is correct: I recommend BNI to any entrepreneur who wants to up his or her game.
But this is better: I recommend BNI to every entrepreneur who wants to up his or her game.
This is also correct: I recommend BNI to all entrepreneurs who want to up their game.
12. My latest craze is open water swimming (with a wetsuit).
“Open water” needs a hyphen, since it modifies “swimming.” What kind of swimming do you do? Open-water swimming.
13. Each time she edits my work, as she did with essays published in the Los Angeles Times and Ms. Magazine, she addresses craft and emotional content alike.
Italicize both newspaper and magazine titles.
14. We know that you – an amazing, creative, and gutsy entrepreneur — have a ton of responsibility running and growing your business; that you might be too busy to think about, let alone write about your business.
That semicolon plus “that” is not correct. I would suggest “…business, and that you might be…”
Plus, “a ton” is, in my opinion, too colloquial for business writing. Great for a 12-year-old; not so much for a grown-up.
This is why I suggest that everyone thinking about hiring an editor read the editor’s material: read the book(s), read the blogs, read the content. If an editor makes those kinds of mistakes, run.
15. I like Ann Handley’s “Everyone Writes”.
I’ve never read Ann’s book, but the title should have been italicized, or, failing that, that period should have been placed inside the quotation marks.
16. There are some really great suggestions here, some of which I have read and agree that they are fabulous (e.g. “On Writing Well”, “On Writing”).
You can’t write “e.g.” and leave off the comma: A comma always follows i.e. and e.g. And, there’s that problem—again!—with the quotation marks and the comma. If the site doesn’t support italics, I’d leave ’em off. Plus, is “fabulous” a little over-the-top? I mean, we’re talking about a punctuation and grammar book here. A Ferrari is fabulous, a 10-carat pear-shaped diamond is fabulous…there just aren’t that many things that are fabulous, and I wouldn’t put a style guide in with a Ferrari. Oh, I know. You know what it’s like? It’s like awesome. God is awesome, nature is awesome, and my dog is awesome, but that’s about it; that’s about all.
17. My favorite quote from the book: “Omit needless words”.
Read it a little more. I bet somewhere in it E.B. White talks about periods being placed inside quotation marks….
18. Also recommend Joe Sugarman’s “The Adweek Copywriting Handbook”.
Same here; I ole bet Joe knows the periods-and-commas-always-go-inside-quotation marks rule.
This is very basic stuff; all these mistakes were made by people who are paid to know better!