I recently offered my services as Technical Editor for the CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) magazine entitled AUGIWorld (AUGI stands for Autodesk User Group International). I’ve written two articles for them so far. With no article ideas when the Editor In Chief asked for them as of late, I jumped at the opportunity when he asked for help with technical editing.
Basically my job is to go through the articles and make sure they make sense from a technical standpoint such as software command structure.
Grammar and such I don’t need to worry about, because that’s another person’s job. But I can’t help myself! Of the three I looked at so far, I found minimal grammatical errors on the first two (I still corrected them). The third article tended to not only be wordy, but extremely long sentences. And I thought I wrote long sentences. Oy.
To not tighten up the entire article is like asking me to ignore a chocolate cake sitting in front of me. Again: Oy.
I managed to restrain myself except for the more glaring errors such as using the incorrect word.
Some words of advice:
- Do not depend on your software’s spell check. It will not find words used incorrectly such as to, two and too.
- Read your work out loud. Some people balk at this, but if you tend toward long sentences this is important. As you read, you will naturally take a breath at the appropriate spot. If there isn’t a period there, add one.
- Read a hard copy. A lot of times what is missed on the screen will be found on paper. Don’t ask me why that is. It just is.
Since most of you write, those tidbits are more “Well, duh!” than anything else. Nevertheless, I needed to vent.
Let’s hope the other five articles don’t tempt the Grammar Nazi in me as much.