I have more than 30 years of experience in editing modern American English grammar and usage, starting in 1973 when I was hired by my favorite English professor to be her Reader and Tutor in English Composition, helping teach college students to write clear, concise and compelling essays. I've done freelance editing ever since (as time and health allows), as well as working in three positions that involved extensive editing of grant proposals and reports for governmental agencies and major private foundations. Before retiring on disability in 2010, I was employed for 16 years as part of a team that included writers and content specialists to edit grant proposals for an international non-profit organization. During that time, I edited more than 200 successfully funded grant proposals resulting in over $100M in total funding.
My style of editing is simple and pragmatic. While I own several more scholarly reference books and dictionaries, I still recommend obtaining a copy of the "Gregg Reference Manual" (spiral bound edition that lies flat on your desk when open), for its straightforward and easy-to-understand information and examples of proper grammar, usage and punctuation; and for all writers and editors, "Style: Toward Clarity and Grace," by Joseph M. Williams, a $13 paperback published by the University of Chicago Press. After decades of using various editions of Merriam-Webster's dictionaries, I was finally persuaded by the Associated Press's endorsement to switch to the "Webster's New World College Dictionary" for everyday use, available in hardback for about $20. I found that this dictionary gets me to the definitions I need more quickly so I can get on with my editing.
I stumbled on to EL&U in late November 2015 while doing a Google search on "meme vs trope," two words that were trending on the internet at that time. I stayed to answer a few questions and to learn from my betters. I enjoy the overall respectfulness, knowledge and civility of the many generous participants here. I hope my presence will contribute to that collegial quality in some small way.
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