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Sans Forgetica: the font to remember

Why would anyone design a font that is deliberately difficult to read? The answer is simple: to help people retain the information they are reading. A team of designers and behavioural scientists at RMIT University has created a new font for the specific purpose of aiding memory retention. It may seem counterintuitive, but by employing […]

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Editing with artificial intelligence

Futurists predict that many of the jobs we do today will cease to exist when human labour is replaced by artificial intelligence (AI). Is the occupation of professional editor likely to be one of them? Much of what is written about AI or automation in the workplace is negative – particularly when it is accompanied […]

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Time for a good segue

As I join the Red Pony team, it seems the perfect time to write about segues. A segue is ‘an uninterrupted transition from one piece of music or film scene to another’ in musical terms or, more generally, a ‘smooth transition from one role, state, or condition to another’ (Oxford Dictionaries). The second of these […]

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Is writing a dying art?

Whenever he conducts a business writing workshop, our trainer asks participants what proportion of their workday is spent writing (e.g. emails, reports and presentations). The answer is usually somewhere between 50 and 75 per cent. He then asks how many participants have been provided with formal training in writing as part of their work. Sometimes […]

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How to identify fake news

While Donald Trump’s successful election campaign popularised (and demonised) the term ‘fake news’, in reality the concept of providing misinformation for political or economic gain has a long and often sordid history. There is little doubt there is a direct correlation between rise of social media and the explosion of misinformation. Sometimes it is done […]

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Experts vs beginners: know your audience

You cannot write well if you don’t know your audience. It’s one of the first questions we ask our clients. The same point can and should be conveyed completely differently, depending on who will be reading it. In the most recent episode of Wired’s new 5 Levels of Difficulty series, ‘musician, composer and multi-instrumentalist Jacob […]

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What can copyeditors learn from Hollywood?

Star Wars buffs will love this video essay, but so too will anyone with an interest in editing of any form: How Star Wars was saved in the edit. While editing a feature film is clearly a different proposition to editing a written document, there are some fundamental similarities. In each instance, the editor is […]

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Where do Christmas cards come from?

Ever wondered where the tradition of sending Christmas cards originated? I did, so I undertook a little research (okay, I googled it and did some reading on Wikipedia). Here’s what I learnt … The general consensus is the first commercial Christmas cards were created by the Englishman Henry Cole. In 1843, Henry (later Sir Henry) […]

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