Archive | From the blog

A copy editor sizes up her A.I. competition

An illustration of a robot reading a book.

The Grammarly plug-in promises to free your writing of mistakes. Can it replace a human copy editor? A biased investigation.

Like a taxi driver warily eyeing a fleet of self-driving Waymos, I didn’t exactly welcome Grammarly’s arrival on the scene. The San Francisco–headquartered company creates software that detects common spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors in text. You can install a free extension in your web browser to automatically flag these errors as you type up emails, Google Docs, and many other editable text fields.

Admittedly, I have my reasons to be leery. I’m a professional copy editor and have been for over a decade, correcting copy for freelance clients including Apple and The New Yorker. But when friends tease me that A.I.-based technology like Grammarly will put me out of business, I confidently scoff.

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How copy editing is a form of customer service

When you think of building out your business’s customer service team, you probably think of the friendly people answering phone calls and responding to emails to field customers’ questions and address their problems. What probably doesn’t come to mind is how well your copy has been edited. It’s time to rethink that.

Here’s why you should consider content strategy and copy editing to be the first lines of defense when it comes to customer support — keeping many easily preventable issues from rearing their ugly (and expensive) heads in the first place, and saving money in the long run.

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Finding your brand voice — and why it’s so important

When I sit down with a new client, I always ask if they want me to edit copy for a specific brand voice. For any business producing content for their customers — website copy, direct email, blog posts, or anything else — it’s important to establish a consistent tone and vocabulary across your communications. Your brand voice is essentially the personality you present to the world.

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