Proofreading for everyone

Archive for April, 2013

Punctured Punctuated lists

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Lists are handy. What can a list do?

A list

  • Presents information briefly and memorably
  • Assembles material that belongs together
  • Groups items that contribute to an understanding of something greater

What punctuation is required in a list? Should the list be part of a sentence? Should the items be numbered? Here are some practical guidelines to help you get consistency when you create a list. Continue Reading…

Twisted words

Monday, April 15th, 2013

At FastProof we proofread lots of university papers written by students from overseas. They manage to study in an unfamiliar language, and we do our best to improve their grammar without influencing their content.

The topic is always interesting even if unfamiliar. In the last year proofreading has kept me well informed about housing in Mongolia, dairy farming in Brazil, the colonisation of Tonga, the construction of microwave conduits and the role of design in the restoration of Iraq.

One develops a relish for quickly absorbing new topics. Regrettably, most of the information the proofreader absorbs leaks out almost as fast as it went in. Or maybe that’s useful, because I don’t need to retain all that information for the proofreading.

In dealing with the “foreign” use of English, one encounters all kinds of grammatical constructions — unconventional, plain wrong or full-on wacky. English can be infinitely and divertingly mangled, and we can find ourselves smiling at the expressions they concoct.

Then I set to work dismantling the curious concoction. I constructed this communicative contrivance to depict and describe the problem of difficult passages. It seems apt:

Now on facebook, so everything’s half price

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Today marks the launch of the FastProof facebook page. Hurrah!

We hope it makes proofreading accessible to heaps of Kiwis so we can help them publish their documents with confidence. To keep in touch with our promotions and activities, go to facebook, search for FastProof and ‘like’ us.

NOTE: Choose the co.nz. version, not .org (which is in Ohio).

To celebrate our facebook launch, we’ve cut our prices in half. All proofreading orders are half-price — but only for the next two weeks! This is an unrepeatable promotion, so get a move on!!