GOOD ENGLISH IS GOOD BUSINESS
Let the meaning choose the
word, and not the other way about.
In prose, the worst thing one can do with words
is to surrender to them. —George Orwell
despite the fact that
external factors such as war, revolution, and natural
disasters are the main causes of refugees leaving
does not necessarily exclude the aspect of choice.
To explain this point, I will concentrate on
the case of political refugees whom this book is
However, even though war, revolution, and natural
disasters are the main causes of refugees leaving
their homelands, these external factors do not
necessarily exclude the aspect of choice. In the case
of the political refugees profiled in this book…
Of the following six rules set down by George Orwell in
“Politics and the English Language” the first and third
redlined phrases in the above example violate number 3 by
taking space without giving information. To what does
_this_ refer? In keeping with usage among academics
writing about sociology, _the aspect of choice_ had to
Never use a metaphor, simile, or
other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in
Never use a long word where a short one will do.
If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
Never use the passive where you can use the active.
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a
jargon word if you can think of an everyday English
Break any of these rules sooner than saying anything
In general I follow Orwell’s six rules. However, teaching
English since 1968 and English as a Second Language since
2005 has given me a teacher’s approach in asking
native-English-speaking as well as
non-native-English-speaking professors to consider changes
to their work. Copyediting the academic journals and
collections named below has given me experience using MLA,
CMS, APA, and AP style manuals. Thirty years of
postgraduate study in English and education, 21st
century coursework in the Teaching of English to Speakers
of Other Languages (TESOL), and tweaking ESL and Basic
Skills theories to fit the adult students in my classrooms
all contribute to my comment on others’ viewpoints.
The following example shows my query to a writer regarding
of Chicanos in recent decades
their dispersal throughout the region.
Or is it the other way around? That their dispersal
throughout and beyond Southern California has
accelerated Chicanos’ socioeconomic gains?
I want to thank
you warmly for your excellent and insightful comments.
This was my first time working with an editor and now I
understand why published
work looks so good! It may have taken a few gos for me to
get it right, but it was certainly a worthwhile learning
process and I will keep your perspective in mind when
writing future material. It was a pleasure working with
Sophia Isako Wong, 2001
(Then) Ph.D. candidate, Department of Philosophy
grateful for your careful reading and delighted with your
margin notes scattered throughout the ms. I'm curious,
were you a former teacher? You seem to have a very
informed point of view on a topic that many of my special
education colleagues would quickly denounce! You have my
continuing appreciation. You have been a fantastic editor
and I am indeed grateful for your patience!
Linda Ware, Professor of Education
University of Rochester
The following example shows two of the comments given to
In the section that follows, I describe how
humanities-based disability studies scholarship has
informed three seemingly disparate agendas of mine:
parent, researcher and activist. After more than a
decade of research in K–12 education in which I have
urged educators to imagine disability otherwise
and to move beyond
overly determined normalizing discourses of cure and
care, disability studies scholarship offers the
potential to extend this critique and that offered by
other critical special education scholars.4
In a way, that’s
right! _Overly deterministic_ might be clearer than
_overly determined_ to reflect the idea of
determinism. Does that help? PAGE \# "'Page: '#'
'" What you recommend is exactly what is needed; their
thinking appears to have been permanently disabled!
Audio streaming present and past: Karen, curriculum,
Justin’s refusal to live in a group home, my spoiled
beginnings--so many warnings
implosion. Today, I am unsettled by this knowing.
In March 2001, Wendy Belcher, then cochair of UCLA Campus
Editors and Writers, recommended me as a copyeditor after
passing what she named “an extremely grueling copyediting
test—a real-life, twenty-five page academic essay in the
humanities. Very few people who took the test passed.
Those who took it were scored in three areas: technical
editing (correcting grammar and spelling errors); style
editing (putting manuscripts into the Chicago Manual of
Style); and substantive editing (improving clarity,
diction, and logic). Janis Holmberg has a good grasp of
the Chicago Manual of Style and is a good technical
editor. Her real strength is substantive editing, where
she does an excellent job of improving diction, clarity,
and logic.” In addition to research, writing, and editing,
Dr. Belcher is a professor of
African literature at Princeton
University for the Department of Comparative Literature
and the Center for African American Studies.
Since 2001 I have copyedited manuscripts authored by
native and non-native-English-speaking professors who
contribute to journals in their field of study. After we
confer, often several drafts are revised to assure clear,
My work also involves application of the Chicago Manual
of Style as well as house style for correct English
usage, mechanics, and note and reference format. For some
projects I have reviewed proofs and incorporated specified
style tags to format articles. Some clients:
Marymount University, Los Angeles, 2006–2007.
Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas
en Letras y Cambio Social.
UCLA, Los Angeles,
For Dr. Edmund Keller, Director, Globalization Research
Center – Africa, the collection
New Patterns of Strategic Encounter:
U.S.-Africa Relations in the Era of Globalization; for
Dr. Robert A. Hill, Editor-in-Chief,
The Marcus Garvey & UNIA Papers Project, African Studies
Center, the collection
Trustee for the Human Community: Ralph J. Bunche and the
Decolonization of Africa.
Michigan State University, East Lansing,
Dr. Dionico Valdés, Director,
Julian Samora Research Institute,
and Dr. Jerry Garcia, Assistant Professor, Department of
History, the collection
Memory, Community, and Activism: Mexican Migration and
Labor in the Pacific Northwest.
Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2003.
For the journal Meridians
(published by Indiana
University Press, Bloomington, Ind.,
For the journal Hypatia.
Illinois State Board of Education, Springfield, Ill.,
For the Assessment Division performed a substantive
copyedit of and wrote a 500-1,000 word executive summary
directed to members of the State Board and the Illinois
General Assembly of the 28-page document “External Review
of the ISAT and Other Standardized Mathematics Tests.”
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