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Why?

I write clear and grammatically correct English. This is increasingly important as English becomes the international language of business and commerce. My combined business backgrounds of publishing and investment research enable me to transform confused, badly punctuated or misspelled text into something which is accurate and a pleasure to read. If it’s enjoyable to read, and describes your services or products clearly and accurately, you will have a substantial advantage over your competitors.

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I was fortunate to have been taught correct spelling, grammar and punctuation from the very start. Although the telephone was rapidly replacing written communication, which is confirmed by my poor handwriting, we were still drilled in the rules of syntax and we bothered about expressing ourselves with clarity.

As I explained in my very first post, the importance of editing and proofreading were made clear when I started working in general book-publishing. Galley-proofs would come back (eventually, those being the distant days of letterpress), from the printer and corrections could be made at that stage, at no great cost. We would sign them off. At the next stage, page-galleys, corrections got expensive. We would sign those off, also.

If the book reached the bookshops riddled with errors, then mere expense turned to personal embarrassment, professional ridicule and an author’s justifiable fury. My very first piece of copy-editing, thrown at me with no training (although that’s a poor excuse), was a disgrace. I can still recall the hot shame of having cheapened a man’s memoirs by doing a poor job. I soon developed a sixth sense for errors, and didn’t make many mistakes after that.

From publishing I moved into the world of finance as a sector analyst, and my company reports, industry surveys and quarterly reviews were as perfect, and as pleasurable to read, as I could make them. The words mattered just as much as the cold figures. When it came to corporate finance, I would frequently find errors which others – bankers, lawyers, accountants – had missed in company prospectuses. I was often a pain in the backside, but I was right.

Now that English is increasingly the language of the online world, and specifically that of online commerce, I believe that it’s important to sell (and, indeed, to buy) in correct English. Now, admittedly, you are not going to get into an international dispute over a single book bought on Amazon, of course.

If you run a factory, though, you will have expensive trouble over a consignment of components that you thought had been ordered in metric, but which your customer insists were to be in Imperial measure. Think of the Stonehenge scene in This is Spinal Tap! Such mistakes really happen; just look at my “Give them an inch” post for a simple error which cost $656m. If your website isn’t clear, it could cost you not only thousands but also your reputation. If, conversely, you get it wrong as a buyer, you’re going to be left with useless inventory, a stalled production process and angry customers.

So, now I provide an editing service, writing clear and accurate English for the online world. I will turn your website, and also your printed material, into English which is not merely correct but also a delight for your customers to read.

If you think I can help, get in touch with me at webwrights@btinternet.com.

In the meantime, enjoy the blog. It’s written not just as a marketing tool but also for fun; both yours and mine. In the words of Robert Townsend in Up the Organisation (written in 1970, and still the only essential read among business books):

“If you don’t do it with excellence, don’t do it at all! Because if it’s not excellent, it won’t be profitable or fun, and if you’re not in business for fun or profit, what the hell are you doing there?”

B

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