Tricky little apostrophes

The following information will benefit everyone who writes anything, not just those who write for publication. It will help you when you write those company reports, memos and presentations. You do want to look as if you know what you’re talking about, right? It will help when you write a note to your child’s teacher; that’ll show her/him they’re not the only one with an education! Everyone who has to read the words/song lyrics from your power point, and has a rudimentary grasp on the English language, will thank you.  (All right, the last one may just be for me. Stop driving me crazy!) I’m sharing this information as a public service in the interests of clarity in communication, and not because I’m a grumpy old Grammar Nazi....

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Self-doubt? Rise above it.

Is it true that we rarely rise higher than our self-doubt? This week I’ve been pondering a statement I found in the manuscript I’m currently editing. The actual wording is: “Few people rise higher than their self-doubt”. When I first read that I thought: That’s so true! That’s deep, man. How often do our fears, our lack of confidence, our doubt, hold us back from achieving our heart’s desire? I can remember, back in ye olde school days, desperately wanting to sing in the school concert but I was too afraid of not being good enough, so I didn’t audition and missed out. Now don’t feel too sad; in later years I participated in numerous musicals and theatre productions. I even sang in a “folk club” in...

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Keeping it new.

Week two of January and already the “newness” of the year is fading. That didn’t take long! Perhaps it’s because I’ve begun work again, editting someone else’s book-that-is-about-to-be-published. Once you switch off the Big Fish Mahjong game and begin to think punctuation and dialogue, you know the holiday is over. I never heard back from the publisher who had my manuscript for half of 2011. They didn’t even reply to my email requesting an update. I guess they’re so busy that even a short, “Can’t answer now – too busy”, took too much time to type. I wonder if it’d be rude to suggest they hire typists with a faster word/min ratio? However, I did hear from the agent’s reader. She...

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2012, here we come.

Hello world! Did you all enjoy seeing in the New Year? For me, the start of a new year reminds me of when I was in school, opening up a brand new exercise book full of blank pages ready to be filled. Ah the anticipation! What shall we scribble on the pages? What little gems of wisdom; what delightful sketches of friends old and new; what hilarious incidents to immortalise in print…? It’s all open before us, with that brand new smell and all the potential in the universe at our fingertips. I just hope I don’t add too many smudges, rips and ink blots. The Old Boy and I saw in the New Year with a few friends, sitting on a deck under a tree full of twinkling fairy lights, sipping tasty beverages, eating corn chips and dips and waving glow sticks. We...

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