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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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The genius of George Orwell

Back when I was a university student contemplating a topic for my English Literature Honours thesis, I thought it might be interesting to examine the early works of George Orwell, one of my favourite writers at the time. After twelve months of immersing myself in biographies, literacy criticism, opinion pieces and pretty much the entire […]

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BBC Subcommittee on Words goes rogue and has to be shut down

At the birth of British broadcasting, in the 1920s, radio presenters spoke with a range of accents and dialects, representing the considerable diversity of the British Isles. The BBC’s first managing director wanted to standardise usage and pronunciation, and set up the BBC Advisory Committee on Spoken English, chaired by playwright George Bernard Shaw. The […]

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