Blue Cloak Editorial writes and revises B2B and B2C content for U.S. and Canadian organizations and individuals. Specialties include short-form marketing materials, editorial style/verbal identity/brand voice standards, and departmental process documentation.
Why Hire an Editor? Because Grammar and Spelling Checkers Aren’t Always Right!
Despite being in wide use, automated tools like Grammarly and Microsoft Editor cannot guarantee that your content is grammatically correct or free of typos. In fact, these tools often miss, and sometimes even introduce, major errors. Consider these examples:
|John Powers are my manger.||John Powers is my manager.|
|If you’re applying from outside our careers page, please apply through our careers page.||If you found this posting on a third-party website, please apply through our careers page.|
|If you’re shopping for a specific child, pleas droop off your donation items before [date].||If you’re donating items to a specific child, please drop them off before [date].|
|A graduate of ABC University, her entire career is in the X industry.||A graduate of ABC University, she has built her career in the X industry.|
|If a CRM is not set up we can setup a template.||If a CRM application has not been set up, we can create a template.|
|Our divers value your safely. We sanitize inside surfaces after each tip.||Our drivers value your safety. They sanitize interior surfaces after each trip.|
|Grab an intimate spot in our VIP section.||Our VIP section offers an intimate atmosphere.|
|A fir of certified pub*c accountants will examine our as**s and liabilities.||A firm of certified public accountants will examine our assets and liabilities.|
Mistakes such as those in the “Before” column are commonplace because no automated editing tool can ever understand context as well as a human being can.
Questions Need an Editor, Too
You might be tempted to think that you don’t need to reread “just a couple of questions” for sense after you’ve run a spelling and grammar check. But automated editing tools won’t necessarily catch faulty reasoning. Let’s look at this real-world scenario:
Job candidates are required to answer these two questions in their online application:
- Do you live in metro Vancouver? Yes/No
- Are you willing to relocate? Yes/No
Applicants who answer “yes” to question 1 should not need to answer question 2. Since these candidates live in the Vancouver metro, they would likely not be asked to relocate. However, because the system requires both questions to be answered, applicants who reply “yes” to question 1 could respond with either “yes” or “no” to question 2:
- “Yes” because they live in metro Vancouver
- “No” because they’re not planning to move closer to the work site
And it’s that ambiguity which undermines the usefulness of question 2 as a data source.
I would remove the ambiguity by:
- Displaying question 2 only to respondents who answer “no” to question 1
- Renaming/reclassifying question 2 as question 1a. so that the top-level list (i.e., questions 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on) won’t need to be reordered if respondents answer “no” to question 1
- Asking applicants to specify their city of residence
Well-written questions make respondents more likely to complete their application or survey as opposed to abandoning it. And correcting errors in spelling, grammar, and reasoning promotes the professionalism of your brand across all of its content channels.
If you choose to work with Blue Cloak Editorial for your next project, know that it will receive not only an automated spelling and grammar check, but also a detailed review by a careful human writer and editor.
Most Blue Cloak Editorial projects involve the types of written content that people outside marketing departments rarely think about:
- Branding guidelines
- Proposal copy
- Print and digital advertisements
- Survey questions and reports
- Marketing and sales correspondence
- CRM account, opportunity, and contact information
- Calls to action (CTAs), buttons, labels, contact forms, and other user experience (UX) elements
- And more
Additionally, if you don’t have editorial guidelines in place—or even if you do—Blue Cloak Editorial can help you document everything from punctuation preferences (see the example below) to departmental processes.
Don’t wait—get in touch today.
|Editorial style tip: Don’t let this happen to you!|
Major errors can result from the presence or absence of even a single punctuation mark.
Consider this dedication:
“For my parents, William Shakespeare and Wonder Woman.”
To avoid mishaps like the one above, always insert a serial (a/k/a Oxford) comma just after the next-to-last item in a series. Adding the serial comma gives us this:
“For my parents, William Shakespeare, and Wonder Woman.”
Courtesy of that useful serial comma, you’re now thanking four people instead of two—and preventing literature majors and animation fans from choking on their drinks!