copyedit.org is sponsored by the Langseth Design Team. Check out http://www.langseth.com
Search engine human editors associated with the Open Directory Project are now taking a long, hard look at Web-site content. Is there any real substance that the average visitor can find at your site? Is the copy relevant? Is it clear? Is it useful?
What happens when there are errors in your story? You lose all credibility, that's what! And your site could disappear from the listings. See Search Engine Watch for verification. Also check out the New AltaVista Search, Excite's new search engine, and Netscape/AOL's purchase of NewHoo for more on the Open Directory Project.
Copyedit.org helps you eliminate this headache. The copyediting tools that we link to are, for the most part, free. They come right up. There are no downloads. We describe how to use them right on this home page. (See the Tool Kit Section.)
When you do your own copyediting, focus on the mechanics. Does your copy make sense? Is the grammar perfect? Does it have a single style? Is it well organized? How about spelling? Typos? Punctuation? Spurious apostrophes? These considerations are really critical if your site is at all "brainy" (content-oriented). Click on the following link which describes the Open Directory Project directive: "Which sites should be marked cool?"
If you need copyediting services, you will find that we are small, home-based, and moderately priced. Our cadre of copy editors has, on average, twenty years of experience in writing, copyediting and polishing up documents. In addition, our Web craftspeople are enthusiastically digging into many facets of Web design, from FrontPage- and Photoshop-based set-ups to the development of search engine strategies. We can assist you via e-mail, e-fax (401) 679-0033, or phone (401) 738-4347.
One of our goals is to build an extensive list of links to on-line tools that help anyone who has a question about proper English usage. If you know of a good reference tool available to the public across the Web, we would like to hear about it.
Here's a challenge that you can have fun with. Our family Web site, http://www.langseth.com, features a glaring spelling error. Find it, and we will give you a free review of your World Wide Web-based site. We will spend one hour looking over the writing on your site as we seek out spelling, grammatical, punctuation and other errors. If any errors are found --and, chances are, there will be! -- we will send back the corrections via e-mail, fax or phone.
Send us an e-mail with your name, phone number, World Wide Web address and our misspelling to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck.
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Tool Kit Links help us share our Web knowledge with you. These are links to tools that we find useful in many ways. Although we bear no responsibility for the information derived from these links, we know that they will help you, too.
Hypertext Webster Gateway This gateway is fabulous! It takes you to a long list of dictionary tools. The interface was developed at the University of California at San Diego. There are no graphics to get in the way. It may look kind of weird, like your father's Oldsmobile, but try it!
Wordsmyth English Dictionary - Thesaurus A very cool tool still under development by Robert Parks and the ARTFL Project at the University of Chicago. We urge you to participate in The Lexipedia Project whenever you come across a word that is not included in this dictionary. It's how the Web will grow, over time, to know about most of the English language.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American English, the Cambridge International Dictionary of English, the Cambridge International Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs and the Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms are all very new. You can use these links to verify British and Australian spellings or check out why the boys are always going to the "bog" in Scotland. Someday, the Cambridge Dictionary will include "computerese," and every other crazy word we use on the Web.
Bartleby Library Here you can search for words found in American and English Poetry from 1250 to 1920. Find out if "I MUST down to the seas again" is correct. Some say the Web is not a good place for poetry, but we disagree.
Rivendel Language Dictionaries and Translators Rivendel is a commercial resource for dictionaries and translation software. This is where we go to check out foreign words. Warning: Do not go directly to http://rivendel.com unless you have a cable modem and wish to view some very esoteric and slow-loading graphics! http://rivendel.com/~ric/resources/dictionary.html is the link that you want.
Grammar Handbook This tool was developed by the Writers' Workshop, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It documents the basic grammatical rules of the English language.
Writing Techniques Handbook Here is another tool developed by the Writers' Workshop, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It covers the fundamentals of style.
The Chicago Manual of Style FAQ This is a neat on-line presentation of Web stuff, including a discussion of "online" versus "on-line." It's just the kind of info you need. Of course, you may opt to ignore their answers (unwise if your boss or publisher is a University of Chicago grad).
Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. Written by a professor of English at Cornell in 1918, who encouraged his students to "write plain English adequate for everyday uses." Strunk's first rule discusses the proper use of the apostrophe. His rule on one hundred and one will soon be applied to two thousand and one "in accordance with the unvarying usage of English prose from Old English times." Did Strunk's foresight reach over the 1918 horizon to our Y2K problem?
The Curmudgeon's Stylebook This is a style book for the newsroom. It has a very fine A-to-Z menu that makes it easy to quickly access the basics, such as the use of quotation marks, italics, commas, colons, semicolons, etc.
WebBudget This software counts all the words in a Web or text document. Translators and copyeditors often base their charges on word counts.
ZIP+4 We use this site to check out zip codes and the spelling of unfamiliar cities, small towns, and obscure streets. We determine the +4 piece of the zip. There's no USPS code you can't find -- including the abbreviation for the Federated States of Micronesia!
ODP Editing: The Quick & Dirty Guide The Open Directory Project describes this page as "an introduction to generally accepted Open Directory Project editing practices." Here you will find directives regarding Web page titles and descriptions like the following: "You will also get submissions with words misspelled, Words Capitalized Unnecessarily (sic), and all sorts of grammar and punctuation mistakes." Some of the links in this guide will keep you sleepless for days.
Robert Frost's Revelation The ultimate word on style. You can get to Bartlett's Familiar Quotations from there if you follow the links.
170 Budlong Farm Road
Warwick, RI 02886-8362
(401) 679-0033 (efax)
Electronic mail address
In her freelance, mostly-at-home position, Jo-Ann Langseth has thirty years' experience in editing and proofing copy, writing celebrity interviews (Thomas Moore, Caroline Myss, Ali MacGraw, Fritjof Capra, Deepak Chopra) and alternative health stories for Body, Mind & Spirit, a national New Age magazine. Best received were her articles about the psycho-spiritual dynamics of homeopathy (an original theory) and her wildly popular "bowel series" (The Shocking Truth About Your Colon -- And What You Can Do About It), which sparked close to 300 responses.
As Senior Editor of Merlyn's Pen, the national magazine of student writing, she edits and restructures all stories and poems for publication in this teen-written magazine. She also assists in the selection process, making final decisions with the publisher and writing encouraging critiques/rejection letters on some of the 15,000 annual submissions. Accompanying the magazine and its spin-off anthologies are teaching guides, authored by Jo-Ann. For the past several years she has also served as director of the Merlyn's Pen Mentors in Writing Program, a semester-long writing tutorial for students in grades 6 - 12, conducted via mail and e-mail.
Jo-Ann likes to boast that she is "pontifically infallible," that she can find and correct errors in the (seemingly) most pristine of texts. During her ten years as associate editor of Body, Mind & Spirit, she was both shocked and delighted to find and remedy countless blunders in the articles of best-selling authors.
See CV for details.
We suggest that you read copy editor Bill Walsh's thoughts on the matter before you decide that you want to become a copy editor, too.
http://www.langseth.com (Our family site)
http://www.campfitch.com/cstaff.htm (Our son Justin's computer camp)
Open Directory Project License (Non-exclusive, royalty-free license)
White Knuckles - Edited by Jo-Ann Langseth
The American Copy Editors Society (A cool place for copy editors - good discussion board)
Things that we do
http://www.indianpath.com (Our economic development in Indian Country project)
http://www.merlynspen.com (Our publisher)
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Hey, we tried... Any ideas?... Yes, we know about floating frames. We are just very eager to avoid anything that might hinder the lowliest search engine in its quest to index our site. Thus, No Frames!
Although the purpose of this site is the presentation of copyediting tools and services and not Web-site design, we thought it appropriate to present one link on design, Dr. Jacob Nielsen's Top Ten New Mistakes of Web Design. Here's hoping we haven't made any of those mistakes ourselves! If you follow his links you will find one mistake that we do intentionally make -- the use of a long, vertical, navigational scroller. This allows you to go from the top of this site to the bottom, with one drag of the mouse. Our clients like it this way.
Can you make it better? mailto:email@example.com
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