Why good grammar matters

“Sticklers Unite!” is the rallying cry from Lynne Truss in her #1 New York Times bestseller for grammar nerds, Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. I’m a stickler and proud of it. And not a closeted one, either. My profession—proofreader, editor and writer—is just a tiny giveaway, for a start. Then […]

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What Makes a Good Proofreader?

I wrote this article for New Zealand Author, the official publication of the New Zealand Society of Authors. It was published last week. You have drafted and redrafted. You may have had some or all of your manuscript assessed. Finally, with relief and incredulity, you have typed The End and poured yourself a glass of […]

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A New Name

Dear followers, likers and hangers-on: Just a short post to let you know that I have changed the name of this blog. Previously known as bellbirdwords, it is now called thebellbirdblog. I have just launched my own freelance proofreading, editing and writing business, and I have called it Bellbird Words. This blog, my Facebook page (Bellbird Words) and […]

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Dip. Edit. goes bush

I have finished my year-long Proofreading and Editing Course and I am now (as long as I didn’t bum out in my final assignment) actually qualified to point out grammatical and spelling mistakes to people. Oh, and fix them. And now the hard work begins, because it’s all very well having a pretty certificate up […]

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Commas, can be useful

If you read the title of this post without cringing and sucking in a mortified gasp of air, you may want to stop reading. If, on the other hand, the above photo makes you want to scream and immediately scramble for your red correction pen (and a shotgun), please read on. As part of the Proofreading and […]

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Back to School

This arrived by courier this morning: It’s my “So you Want to be a Student Again Starter Pack”. (Where’s the scarf and cheap booze?) Actually, it’s my textbooks and first two tutorials for the year-long correspondence course I have enrolled in – Proofreading and Editing. The massive grey folder at the bottom will gradually fill […]

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Grammar – Its important

I am a Grammar Nazi. I am one of those infuriating people who can’t help pointing out the redundant commas, misplaced apostrophes and spelling mistakes in any written document. Some of the authors are appreciative. Others immediately cross me off their Christmas party invite list (I’d point out all the errors on the invitation, for […]

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