I am constantly and consistently amazed when I go to a self-proclaimed editor’s website and find a morass of mistakes in his or her content. I don’t get it. How can someone who plainly doesn’t understand the rules of good grammar and correct punctuation hang out a shingle trumpeting “I’m An Editor! I’m An EDITOR!” and then take your money (!!), when it’s obvious to any Tom, Dick, or Harriet that he (or she!) is clueless about basic principles? Can’t conjugate verbs correctly, doesn’t know rules about hyphens, misspells words, uses the wrong word—and you call yourself an editor? Gee, I find it very irritating!
Here are some terrific examples of someone who says he’s an editor, but who needs a lot of schoolin’.
1) During the past eight years or so, I’ve been working full-time as a free lance ghostwriter, copy-editor, and proofreader.
Then you should know that “freelance” is one word! And, buddy, listen to this:
You are a full-time editor, which means you edit full time.
Generally speaking, a hyphenated compound adjective loses the hyphen when it follows the noun it’s modifying. I thought all editors knew that!
2) Some of the greatest examples of ingenuity when it comes to words has been by Bible translators.
“Has” is the problem here. “Some” means more than one, and more than one have been…
3) Their years of service span a dangerously fascinating period of Chinese history, and their first years there were synonymous with the final years of Hudson Taylor’s ministry in China.
“Synonymous”? Really? “Similar to”? “At the same time of”? “Simultaneous”? I don’t get it.
4) This year-long collection of insightful devotionals is arranged by monthly themes—topics ranging from basic Christian truths to in-depth and thought provoking quests.
Please put a hyphen between “thought” and “provoking.”
5) Dig into the cross-generational themes of: childhood pleasures, adolescent growing pains, grown-up lessons in maturity, and, finally, the Christian’s victory over death.
No colon after “of.” If you didn’t have “of” there, you could put a colon after “themes.”
6) Emily has a heart problem, her dad was burned badly in a fire and kids make fun of her at school.
What? There are three things in this list; three things that are unrelated. The missing serial comma doesn’t help.
7) If you don’t want thousands of books molding in your garage you may want to go POD.
“To mold” is not correct here. “To mold” means to shape, like Jello or a piece of plastic. There is no such verb as “to mold” in the sense of growing mold or mildew. “Moldering,” however, means to decay, to deteriorate, as in “John Brown’s body lies a-moldering in the grave….”
This is sort of the worst example, even though all of them demonstrate a lack of basic knowledge. You need an editor who has read deeply, broadly, and reacts strongly when the wrong word is used.
8) There is definitely an ideal situation for using print-on-demand. If you’re short on time or don’t possess the know-how to do all those details involved in producing your own bona fide book, then you may want to consider Print-on-demand.
Well, a cursory once-over would show that “print” is both lowercase and uppercase in the same use. Wrong!
9) If you want ideas for things like book cover design that you can just pick and have implemented immediately then choose POD.
Comma after “immediately.” And, even though you can’t see it, trust me: there were two spaces between “have” and “implemented.” (Spell-check saw them!)
10) That is the most remarkable writing in the world- – -the pure, honest stuff from deep inside.
Yes! Those are three hyphens after “world,” and there are no circumstances when three hyphens are used for anything. Geez!
11) Your publisher then submits your book to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. They begin to coach you regarding how to publicize your book.
Since when is “your publisher” plural; in other words, why is “they” there?
This is really sucky writing. I’m all for people learning, but this is not professional editing by any stretch.