Adrienne (scieditor)

Author's details

Name: Adrienne (scieditor)
Date registered: May 25, 2011


An editor of words, mostly those in instructional materials — and mostly on technical subjects such as science.

Latest posts

  1. Conference report: Communication Central 2014 — September 30, 2014
  2. Stop Wasting Time on Estimates — September 29, 2014
  3. LOTW, Sept 20–26 — September 26, 2014
  4. “Try this punctuation test,” she exclaimed! — September 24, 2014
  5. The Art of the Upsell — September 22, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. Productivity Rates in Editing — 13 comments
  2. Basic PDF Mark-Up for Copy Editors and Proofreaders — 14 comments
  3. How to Find Freelance Editing Work — 10 comments
  4. Thinking of a Career in Editing? — 9 comments
  5. Things I wish I had known when I started freelancing — 7 comments

Author's posts listings

Sep 30

Conference report: Communication Central 2014

Two roundups from the Communication Central conference. Several print and tech resources for writers and editors, as well as efficiency and business tips. These are my “take away” from #commcen2014.

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About the tiaras

They’re editing tiaras. Don’t you have one? They turned into a silly theme which at least 3 people would like credit for. Considering this, I’ll say that perhaps the tiara’s time has come. I also have an editing cape, for when I’m asked to do the impossible. But I’m trying to retire that accessory.

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Sep 29

Stop Wasting Time on Estimates

photo looking down on skeptical-looking man who has yellow leaves falling on himAre you spending hours developing accurate estimates specific to a project only to hear the client say “That’s ten times what I thought I’d have to spend”?

Stop it. Stop it now.

Find out how, today, in my How To column at Tweet this quote.

How do you screen clients to make sure you’re in the same ballpark? Leave your comments below, on Facebook, or on the blog. We want to learn from you!

Listen to the podcast on this topic for an extended discussion, more case studies and resources.

About this guy I asked for advice: I could fill an entire blog post describing why Greg Ioannou is a person whose advice counts for a lot. Besides having always been generous with advice, he owns of Colbourne Communications (an editing business with several employees as well as a small press), is a founding member of EAC, and teaches editing at a university.

Link to my columns on

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Photo by Alexandre Normand used under CC BY-2.0 license.


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Sep 26

LOTW, Sept 20–26

Here’s this week’s interweb awesomeness for editors, plus some shit I just know I’m going to want to find again later. Remember when we used to use “bookmarks” to preserve such links? Back when the WWW was only a couple hundred pages?

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Sep 24

“Try this punctuation test,” she exclaimed!

photo of people leaping in air, clothed in full-body colour leotardsTweet this tip.A simple test for the most exciting punctuation, today, in my Canadian, Eh? column at This is a retake on my previous post, in honour of the US National Punctuation Day.

Link to my Canadian, Eh? column on


Photo by Peter MacKinnon used under CC BY-2.0 license. 


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Sep 22

The Art of the Upsell

close up photo of hamburger with French friesHow to put “Would you like fries with that?” to work in your business without feeling like a fast-food clerk. Three-tier pricing, today, in my How To column at

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Me? I’m thinking of adding kick-in-the-pants service to my developmental and copy editing clients, since I don’t do project management. Offering developmental edits to my copy editing clients (and CE to my proofreading clients) is how I moved up the editorial chain, so I know this upselling works.

What are you going to offer as add-ons?


Link to my columns on

For other takes on this topic, refer to the podcast episode as well as Ed Gandia’s Freelancers Academy podcast: The Smarter Freelancing Podcast, episode 15.

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Photo by Reyner Media used under CC BY-2.0 license.


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Sep 21

Sidewalk-sized Spirograph

photo of sidewalk sized spirograph in actionI made a sidewalk-sized spirograph. It’s pretty off-topic as far as this site goes, but so many people asked me for the template (via Haha Bird) that I decided to post the storyline here so they could find it.

So. Much. Fun. Well worth the 30 hrs work, and some more tweaking over the winter. I might be willing to bring it to you for a visit. Just ask. Made with help of my friends at Kingston MakerSpace.

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Sep 20

Archive of 2013 Copyediting posts

In honour of my 200th blog post here, I’m posting an archive of the other 29 that didn’t make on this blog yet. With this one, that means the count is up to 230 now. As for podcasts, I’ve done 27 episodes and have two more drafted — they’re part of this blog count. There are another 35 blog posts drafted in the cue on this site, and another 24 cued or drafted for my How To and Canadian, Eh? columns on Just in case you were wondering.

Below is a list of my posts that made it onto before I thought to “archive” them here. And since I now search my site quite often to find older posts, I need to have these in the database.


Errata | Fees | Genres


2014-01-15 Should an Editor be a One-stop Shop?Tweet this quote. As the editorial processes collapses, clients are expecting editors to do all passes and stages of editing. Some editors have to code manuscripts and design layout too. Should an editor be skilled in all editing tasks or is specializing the best path to quality?

2014-01-08 Upton Scholarship Open — EAC’s bursary for a Canadian student of editing

2013-12-18 Award for Excellent Canadian Editors — EAC’s recognizes outstanding editing with the annual Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence

2013-12-11 Queen’s U Offers Full-Credit Editing Course

2013-12-04 Practice vs Practise: Can’t we get along?Tweet this quote.— Are prescriptivists fighting an ill-informed battle when it comes to enforcing two spellings of practice in Canadian English?

2013-11-20 Certification for Copyeditors, Proofreaders, Stylistic and Structural Editors — Editors in Canada can get their skills certified through a series of four exams via the national professional association.

2013-11-06 Giller Prize Goes to Short Story Collection, Where are the Editors? — The font type often gets credit on the copyright page. Why do editors accept less respect than the font demands?

Tweet this quote.2013-10-16 Thanksgiving and Other Signs of Fall in Canada — uniquely Canadian vocabulary roundup for fall

2013-10-02 Coca-Cola’s Bilingual Faux Pas: Pardon My French — CoTweet this’s bilingual bottle top gets lost in translation, offends English audience.

2013-9-25 The Legend of Québec’s War on Apostrophes — There never waTweet this quote.s an apostrophe in our favourite coffee shop’s name

2013-9-24 Commas and the Restrictive Clause — Some examples are restrTweet this quote.ictive, so shouldn’t be set off by commas.

2013-9-04 Canadian Copyediting Plug-ins for MS Word — Review oTweet this quote.f PerfectIt’s new MS Word add-ins to help you adhere to the vagaries of Canadian spelling and style preferences. These cover CanOx, Gage, and The Canadian Style.

2013-8-21 HTML for Copy Editors — This post focuses on how you can learn HTML, rather than explaining what it is. It accompanies a more instructive article I wrote for the print version of the Copyediting Newsletter.

2013-7-31 Editing in Two Tongues — The search for bilingual editors is on, but is that a false economy?

2013-7-24 Canadian Cultural Reference Points — Tim Hortons IS Canada, I argue here. And I didn’t hear any backlash, either. Double, double!

2013-7-16 Canadian, eh? — My very first post for, introducing the weekly column.


20Tweet this quote.13-9-18 Advice for SciFi Copyeditors — Beyond learning the author’s preferences, knowing your tropes is essential to copyediting genre fiction. Advice from Robert J. Sawyer.

2013-10-30 Tweet this quote.Do vampires wear snow suits? Advice for spooky editors — Fantasy and horror present special challenges to the copyeditor and proofreader.

On Errata

Tweet this quote.2013-8-07 Error rates in editing — No one is perfect. In fact, there are a few studies that say that spotting 95% of typos and other indisputable errors is about as good as any human can get. Presumably spotting homonyms and other usage errors is even harder. I later expanded this post into a podcast. This post got over 17,200 reads in just over a year. It hit a nerve.
What’s your save percentage?

20Tweet this quote.13-9-11 How many errors trigger a reprint? — Precious few. And they don’t seem to hurt sales for most genres. Non-fiction being one possible exception; but that doesn’t include cookbooks.
“Oh, for heaven’s sakes, a few typos never hurt a novel’s sales!”

Tweet this quote.2013-11-06 Editor Sins, an anonymous confession Tumblr — Editors know they are imperfect too. Come see the lighter side of editors and unburden yourself anonymously.


2013-8-15 Talking Fees with ColleaguesTweet this.Sometimes you seem to be in a tug of war with colleagues over rates, each racing to the bottom. This one was expanded into a podcast episode as well.

2013-8-28 Rate Setting Shortcut for Editors of All KindsTweet this link.This quick-and-dirty calculation will help you find the hourly rate in your market, and for your level of experience. The expanded podcast version of this is popular as well.

2013-10-29 Pricing a Project, a guide for copyeditors and other editorial professionals — Tweet this quote.Still throwing darts at a price chart when the phone rings? Try this book from Melanie Thompson.

Legal Issues

2013-10-09 Copyright Changes in CanadaTweet this quote.Will users’ rights and the burden of proving financial impact take the teeth out of copyright law in Canada? Fourteen legal scholars weigh in on last year’s five copyright cases in the Supreme Court of Canada.

2013-1Tweet this quote.1-26 Was the Beastie Boys song used fairly in that ad? A fair dealing test for editors and content creators

2013-10-Tweet this quote.23 Libel for Copyeditors in Canada — Flagging libelous statements is a task for every kind of editor but where does responsibility end?


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Sep 19

LOTW, Sept 13–19

Seems it was a slow week on the interwebs. Probably, like my authors, their noses are to the grindstone and they’re not ready to return the file to the editor. #twiddlethumbs. Still we’ve got a plagiarism identification flowchart, a chart naming all the colours, and how to write double-duty headlines (for both appeal and SEO) in this week’s roundup. Oh! And don’t forget to watch out for your bedsheets. Apparently they killed 717 Americans in 2009 alone.

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Sep 17

Capital Style in Canada

close up photo of upper & lowercase keys on antique typewritter

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Anarchy! Aesthetics, tradition, and readership all cited as legitimate factors in capitalization style. Have the Canadians lost it? Today, in my Canadian, Eh? column at

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Sep 16

Career Mojo for the Unplanner (podcast)

photo collage of man with coffee escaping explosion in elevator shaft


“There is a belief entrenched in American culture that career planning is a logical and linear activity … But it’s not.” — Kathleen Mitchell


Get your mojo out of slow mo with this career-focussed episode. Career paths without planning: how to stay on top of new developments and build opportunities are covered in this episode, a considerable expansion on a series of Adrienne’s posts on the blog. It’s a longer episode: just over 18 minutes. So you should be able to get lots of dishes done while you listen.
Buckle up. Let’s go.

Press play below or subscribe to have this sent automatically to your podcatcher/ iTunes, or right-click to download the file. 18:40 min 


Follow this link to instructions for subscribing to this podcast.Tweet about this podcast.


Where are you looking for signs of change? What are you interested in? What is at the top of your PD list? Leave your comments below, or join the discussion over on the Dameditors Facebook page.


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The image for this episode is by David Blackwell, used under CC BY-SA 2.0 license.


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