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Because We Haven’t Done Vampires – An Exercise in Editing

A Halloween-Themed Proofreading Exercise

As promised, I have created another exercise for you to practice your editing skills. The following email contains 38 grammar, spelling, usage, punctuation, homonym, and typo problems. You don’t need to reword or try to improve the writing, ONLY NOTE THE MISTAKES. When you have finished, check your edits by scrolling down to MISTAKES EXPLAINED. Fair or not, our colleagues often judge our capability by noting our carelessness. If you want a promotion, proofread your work.

rvolturi@paramount.com
Subject: location at your farm
Date: April 3, 2016, 11:59:59 PM PDT
To: Isabella Swan

 

Isabella, I appreciate you speaking with me today and sending me pictures of the cemetary. You have a very unique setting and the affect of the Spanish moss in the live oaks will be perfect with the fool moon shining through the trees. Its going to be really spooky. About the headstones. We will need to clean up some them so the audience can see those dates from the 1800’s. You seemed to imply that that will not be a problem.

 

Is their a convenient time for you and I to meet at the cemetary? I am anxious to see the sight for myself. After that, I promise not to bug you, but I will check in occassionally.

 

I appreciate Edward offering to provide garlic and wooden stakes, we’re shooting a different kind of vampire, so we will not be needing those props. Also, I did not mean to infer that Paramount would be adverse to you inviting a few friends and family to watch filming, but we do ask that you be discrete.

 

To answer your other question: no, the werewolves are not real; its all done with green screen technology. But the vampires are real. I’m just kidding; the werewolves are real to; ha-ha, a little Hollywood humor.

 

I have one more request. Can we bring our own bats. As I mentioned, myself and everyone at the studio will do everything we can to insure nothing happens to your native bat population. Plus, representatives of the ASPCA will be on location to monitor and offer there expertise. That will all be in the contact.

 

Last, I am happy to confirm that on the first day of shooting, your receiving a check for $50,000 for the two nights. I will have the studio chef’s assistant call you regarding payment.

 

That’s it. If you have any questions, hopefully you will contact myself or your welcome to speak with my assistant, Kristen. Pray for mostly clear skies with moonraker clouds, or we’ll have to pay extra to have them digitized!

 

Warm regards,
Richard Volturi
Location Manger
Paramont Pictures

 

MISTAKES EXPLAINED

rvolturi@paramount.com

Subject: location at your farm

Date: April 3, 2016, 11:59:59 PM PDT

To: Isabella Swan

 

Isabella, I appreciate you (should be your, possessive pronoun with gerund – See Tip: “’Hallelujah!’ in the Hallway”) speaking with me today and sending me pictures of the cemetary (spelling – should be cemetery). You have a very (remove very – unique is an absolute – it has no degrees – See Tip: “A Unique Problem”) unique setting, (missing a comma – two independent clauses must be joined by a comma followed by a coordinating conjunction – See Tip: “We Talk on the Road”) and the affect (usage – should be the noun effect) of the Spanish moss in the live oaks will be perfect with the fool (typo – should be full) moon shining through the trees. Its (punctuation – should be the contraction It’s) going to be really spooky. About the headstones. (sentence fragment) We will need to clean up some them (typo – missing of) so the audience can see those dates from the 1800’s (remove the apostrophe – it’s neither a contraction nor a possesive, but merely a plural). You seemed to imply that that will not be a problem.

 

 Is their (homonym – should be there) a convenient time for you and I (me – the pronoun is the object of for) to meet at the cemetary (spelling – should be cemetery)? I am anxious (usage – should be eager – See Tip: “Three Words Many Writers Misuse”) to see the sight (homonym – should be site) for myself. After that, I promise not to bug you, but I will check in occassionally (spelling – should be occasionally).

 

I appreciate Edward (should be Edward’s, possessive noun with gerund – See Tip: “’Hallelujah!’ in the Hallway”) offering to provide garlic and wooden stakes, we’re (run-on sentence – should be a period after stakes and a capital W in we’re to create a new sentence – See Tip: “We Talk on the Road”) shooting a different kind of vampire, so we will not be needing those props. Also, I did not mean to infer (usage – should be imply – See Tip: “Three More Words Many Writers Misuse”) that Paramount would be adverse (usage – should be averse – See Tip: “Three Words Many Writers Misuse”)  to you (should be your, possessive pronoun with gerund – See Tip: “’Hallelujah!’ in the Hallway”) inviting a few friends and family to watch filming, but we do ask that you be discrete (homonym – should be discreet).

 

To answer your other question: no, the werewolves are not real; its (punctuation – should be the contraction it’s) all done with green screen technology. But the vampires are real. I’m just kidding; the werewolves are real to (homonym – should be too); ha-ha, a little Hollywood humor.

 

I have one more request. Can (usage – should be may – asking for permission - See Tip: “Still Another Three Words Many Writers Misuse”) we bring our own bats. (punctuation – should be a question mark) As I mentioned, myself (usage – should be the subjective I – See Tip: “On Behalf of Myself”) and everyone at the studio will do everything we can to insure (usage – should be ensure) nothing happens to your native bat population. Plus, representatives of the ASPCA will be on location to monitor and offer there (homonym – should be their) expertise. That will all be in the contact (typo – should be contract).

 

Last, I am happy to confirm that on the first day of shooting, your (homonym – should be you’re) receiving a check for $50,000 for the two nights. I will have the studio chef’s (typo – should be chief’s) assistant call you regarding payment.

 

That’s it. If you have any questions, hopefully (usage – should be I hope – See Tip: “Three Words That Aren’t”) you will contact myself (usage – should be the objective me – See Tip: “On Behalf of Myself”), (missing a comma – two independent clauses must be joined by a comma followed by a coordinating conjunction – See Tip: “We Talk on the Road”) or your (homonym – should be you’re) welcome to speak with my assistant, Kristen. Pray for mostly clear skies with moonraker clouds, or we’ll have to pay extra to have them digitized!

 

Warm regards,
Richard Volturi
Location Manger (typo – should be Manager)
Paramont (typo – should be Paramount) Pictures

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About Gary Kinder

Gary Kinder

WordRake founder Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for AMLAW 100 firms, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. As a writing expert and coach, Gary was inspired to create WordRake when he noticed a pattern in writing errors that he thought he could address with technology.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to help writers produce clear, concise, and effective prose. It saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.

WordRake takes you beyond the merely grammatical to the truly great—the quality editor you’ve always wanted. See for yourself.

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How Does it Work?

WordRake is editing software designed by writing expert and New York Times bestselling author Gary Kinder. Like an editor or helpful colleague, WordRake ripples through your document checking for needless words and cumbersome phrases. Its complex algorithms find and improve weak lead-ins, confusing language, and high-level grammar and usage slips.

WordRake runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggestions appear in the familiar track-changes style. If you’ve used track changes, you already know how to use WordRake. There’s nothing to learn and nothing to interpret. Editing for clarity and brevity has never been easier.