Friday, January 30, 2015

Good Grammar = Higher Salary

The results are pretty conclusive. Not only does good spelling and grammar help you avoid embarrassing moments like this:


or this:


it also leads to a higher salary in whatever career you choose.

Grammarly, owners of a grammar checking program, and posters of at times hysterically funny grammar bloopers, checked 400+ freelancer profiles from all eight categories of the Elance platform for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. To adjust for quality of work, they only selected freelancers with an average rating of four stars or above. They then looked at the correlation between earnings and number of mistakes.

The results are quite clear.


(See it much bigger here: http://www.grammarly.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/writing_skills_matter-e1418225521834.jpg)

Grammarly, which is a proofreading web application that finds and explains in-depth grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes, is offering free a premium test account to someone interested in improving their grammar. Have a look at http://www.grammarly.com/grammar-check and email me at helen.woodallATgmailDOTcom if you want to win it. Tell me how better grammar would help you reach your goals. Put GRAMMAR in the subject line of your email.


Helen Woodall
helen.woodall@gmail.com

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

12 Letters That Didn't Make it into the Alphabet



I can actually remember seeing old books with the long S used on covers and in illustrations, back when I was a small child. Since the long S and the short s are both pronounced identically, it gradually disappeared during the nineteenth century. (No, I wasn’t alive in the nineteenth century!)

Ash, the A and E joined together, was also still seen occasionally when I was a child. And as for the Ampersand, he’s still very much around. But most of the others are quite fascinating, and each has its own story.

Happy reading.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/31904/12-letters-didnt-make-alphabet

Helen Woodall
helen.woodall@gmail.com

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Be yourself



Stop comparing yourself with other authors. You know, all those lucky people whose book trailer goes viral and they make an instant million dollars. For every one of them are the other billion videos that didn’t go viral.

For every book that hits the Number One spot on the New York Times Best Seller list are a million or two that didn’t.

While you are exhausting yourself to write blog posts just like Successful Author, or make book trailers like Millionaire BookTrailer Maker, or to research and write a book exactly like Latest Best Seller, you will always fail. Every author has a voice. Write your own book. Write what is your passion. Craft your book as best you can in your own way.

Then polish it, get it professionally edited, have the cover made professionally, get it formatted properly, and then send it out into the world knowing it’s the best book YOU can offer right now.

And instead of slavishly staring at its Amazon sales rankings and biting your fingernails to the quick over clicks on your blog or every review on Goodreads, switch the internet off, put your butt in your chair, and start writing your next book with the aim of making it even better than the previous one.

There is only one you. Be yourself. Just be the very best you can be right now.

Helen Woodall
helen.woodall@gmail.com

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

Monday, January 12, 2015

20 French Phrases You Should Be Using



Way back in 1066 the English language, already a mish-mash of a dozen different dialects, suddenly doubled in size with the Norman conquest. French became the language of the government and hence of the ruling classes. “Pig” now only meant the animal. The meat became “pork”.

Even today, almost a thousand years later, French words still make up almost a third of the words in the English language. Almost everyone knows what déjà vu means, for instance.

Mental Floss has come up with a list of twenty lesser-known French phrases. Most of them I’d heard of, read in books, and knew the meaning of. Remember the hero riding ventre à terre to rescue his heroine in the old-style bodice rippers? Some of these phrases really are too good to disappear such as honi soit qui mal y pense and revenons à nos moutons.

Enjoy reading these: http://mentalfloss.com/article/60462/20-french-phrases-you-should-be-using

Helen Woodall
helen.woodall@gmail.com

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What makes a language globally important?



Researchers having been trying to identify what makes a language important on a global scale. They began by identifying sources of media that had been translated into multiple languages. They included 2.2 million books that represented over 1,000 languages, tweets sent by 17 million users, spanning 73 languages, and articles on Wikipedia that had been edited by humans, not robots.

The map shows their findings about how the various languages were linked together.

Ultimately, English turned out to be the largest hub for information to be translated from one language into another in all three data sets. Other languages including Russian, German, and Spanish also serve as hubs to other languages, but to a lesser extent than English.

More than fifty percent of all communication on the internet is in English, and the internet is the way that most people are communicating now, which indicates the ability of English to connect people across all languages.

Many years ago the language that connected people was Latin. Books were handwritten by scholars, often monks, and they read and wrote Latin. The study has been completed and the results are in. These days it seems it’s English, which is good news for authors writing in that language.

To read the study go to: http://www.iflscience.com/brain/new-study-reveals-most-influential-languages

Helen Woodall
helen.woodall@gmail.com

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.