Book Review: The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase Explores What Makes Good Writing Great

Written by Sarah Mitenko; copy edited by Karen Barry

The image displays the cover of Mark Forsyth's book "The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase."Have you ever wondered what makes Shakespeare’s writing so darn good? Or Wordsworth’s, for that matter? And have you ever wondered how musical artists, like Katy Perry and Alanis Morissette, create lyrics that are catchy and memorable (sometimes annoyingly so)?

Notable author Mark Forsyth, also known for his blog, The Inky Fool, answers these questions and more in his third book, The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase. Throughout the book, he explores the fundamentals of classic rhetoric, using examples drawn from both renowned classical works and modern-day popular culture. Most of the chapters include examples from Shakespeare, as Forsyth argues that he likely learned rhetoric in school, a subject that was abandoned not long after Shakespeare’s time.

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Event review: A matter of style

Written by Eric Damer; copy edited by Karen Barry

Review of seminar Stylistic Editing: Beyond the Basics with Nancy Flight (offered by Editors BC on October 31, 2015)

When the manuscript you’re editing has sound structure, good grammar, and perfect punctuation, is there anything left to fix? If the manuscript remains awkward, dull, or confusing, then perhaps it is time for some stylistic editing. Our “Halloween” workshop on October 31 with Nancy Flight explored ways to “clarify meaning, improve flow, and smooth language.”

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PubPro 2015: Event recap and session summaries (part 1)

On April 25, EAC-BC co-hosted PubPro 2015, the third annual unconference for managing editors and publication production specialists. A recap of the event and part 1 of the session summaries are below; part 2 is available here.

Event recap

By Iva Cheung

For the third year in a row, EAC-BC teamed up with Publishing@SFU to host PubPro, an unconference for managing editors, production professionals, and anyone who manages publication projects.

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Member interview: Margaret Shaw

Written by Frances Peck; copy edited by Karen Barry

Margaret ShawMargaret Shaw is a Coquitlam-based writer and editor of mostly scientific and technical material, ranging from manuals and books, to reports and procedures. Besides EAC, she belongs to Plain Language Association International and the Society for Technical Communication. She holds EAC certifications in structural and stylistic editing and copy editing.

You’re kind of an earth girl, Margaret. Your B.Sc. was half in geology and your M.Sc. was in earth sciences and hydrogeology. What (on earth) led you to editing and writing?
I suppose I came full circle. I wrote my first book in Grade 1, at my teacher’s request. It was called In the Hospital and was a detailed account of having my tonsils out. It was bound with green construction paper folded in two and stapled.

I consider my dad, who was a chemist, to be my first and most important writing teacher, even though he never knowingly taught me anything about writing. He has always been a great natural writer and fantastic at explaining the essence of things simply. My mum, who was a nurse, was the one I asked about spelling. I remember how pleased she seemed as she spelled out words.

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Event review: Transcription, captioning, and subtitling: An introduction for editors

Written by Amy Haagsma; copy edited by Karen Barry

Recap of EAC-BC’s branch meeting on April 15, 2015.

Last month, Kelly Maxwell spoke to EAC members and guests about the fascinating world of transcription, captioning, and subtitling. Kelly is co-owner and co-founder of Vancouver-based Line 21 Media Services, which provides services to the television and film industry. Line 21 works primarily with post-production coordinators, who shepherd television shows and movies through editing, colour correction, and distribution.

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Event Review: Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips with Frances Peck

Written by Amy Haagsma; copy edited by Karen Barry

Review of seminar Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips with Frances Peck (offered by EAC-BC on March 19, 2015).

Frances Peck is a writer, Honorary Certified Professional Editor, and long-time EAC member and volunteer. She has taught at the University of Ottawa, Douglas College, SFU, and UBC; presented seminars for EAC branches across Canada; and delivered training for a number of government and private-sector organizations.

One of Frances’ specialties is editing and rewriting for clarity, making her the perfect choice to teach EAC-BC’s recent half-day seminar, Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips. The seminar focused on techniques to improve clarity in workplace and public documents to better communicate the intended message.

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