Editing … The Luck of the Irish?

While I love learning about all kinds of heritage and find it fun to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day … I can attest there’s nothing “lucky” about being a great editor, writer, or presenter.

Sure there is some innate talent or predisposition, if you will, but to execute these disciplines professionally a finely honed robust English skill set must not only be maintained but grown as language conventions expand.

So edit all you can! I edited friends’ papers in university, I edit (accidentally somewhat) while enjoying a favourite book, I edit the news, and virtually any written material I see including signage in stores. On top of that I keep up on the latest dictionaries, thesauruses, style guides, and more. I even read cover-to-cover a few of these sources once … but in fairness I was creating a robust in-house style guide at the time, now in its fifth edition.

And I’d say complement skill, practice, and current resources usage with first-rate technology. Thank goodness it can never do the stellar job of a great editor, writer, or presenter, but it can act as a safety net to ensure a top-rate quality document after it’s touched. Use Word (spell-check and thesaurus) and I’d recommend PerfectIt Pro (which you can customize or pay to have it done).

Lastly, always be ready to learn! After decades of editing, writing, and presenting there is much useful information stored in my mind but I’m thrilled any time I learn a new word, usage for it, or bit of technology to support my talents.

And in light of learning I sought out a St. Patrick’s Day fact … according to many sites from Google citing Irish legends … Patrick wasn’t the saint’s original name … apparently it was Maewyn Succat and his “colour” was actually pale blue not green! Darn what colour to wear on March 17?

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