Want to play “Geeks’ Revenge” at ACES 2014?

I’ve come up with a new version of a grammar/usage game that I’ve played with newspaper interns and others over the years. It’s like a quiz show, but it also works as a training exercise. And I am presenting the game at the ACES national conference in Las Vegas. The session is scheduled at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 20. Read more about the sessions here. The game, which I call “Geeks’ Revenge,” will give copy editors a chance to put their knowledge of usage to use. I’ve tested this version of the game with editor friends and it was a hit. I think it’ll be fun for both players and audience members.

The game allows for three teams of two players each, so the spots for players are limited. There will be a sign-up sheet at the conference registration Thursday, and we’ll have a random drawing for the player spots. If you’re coming to the conference and want to be in that drawing, leave a comment below with your name and I’ll add you to the pool. (This is a way of gauging the interest ahead of time.) By the way, the winners and players will get small prizes too.


Advice to an aspiring copy editor

Someone wrote to me recently to ask for advice on becoming a copy editor. I stifled the urge to say, “Don’t do it!” Lots of my fellow copy editors probably have rethought their career choice after the upheaval of the past few years. I felt lucky to find a full-time copy-editing job with an excellent organization after leaving the newspaper business. Many of my colleagues have landed on their feet in one way or another, but some are struggling to find either full-time jobs or freelance work that pays the bills.

On the other hand, I know of copy editors who have succeeded in freelancing, and the need for copy editing has never gone away. New copy editors should be coming into the occupation. We Baby Boomers can’t work forever. (Although sometimes when we look at our retirement savings, we think we might have to work forever.)

Here is an edited and enhanced version of what I told my correspondent, who wondered if she could break into copy editing and proofreading without any experience. I don’t feel especially qualified to advise an aspiring copy editor because my career path is not one that most people can follow today. When I was a young woman, I could go anywhere in the country and find a job. Newspapers don’t offer as many copy editing jobs now. But I took a stab at the advice. I hope my fellow copy editors will weigh in with more wisdom.

Read the rest of this entry »


Try a new quiz from the Grammar Guide

I’ve created a quiz that I hope will work for those using iPads. You can find it here. The form will send me an email message whenever someone completes the quiz, but the responses are anonymous. This one has 10 multiple-choice questions involving word choice.

Please leave feedback in the comments or in a message to me. Thanks!


The quizzes are working!

The quizzes are working again. Please message me if you find anything not working.


The quizzes are broken

At last, this blog has a spiffy new look that matches the rest of the ACES site. Yippee!

Unfortunately, something has happened to the posted quizzes. They are broken. I don’t know why, and I don’t know when they will be fixed.

I apologize for the inconvenience.