grammarEditing is not the most glamorous part of writing, and I suspect that many people are too busy to care about the dots and squiggles of punctuation. Judging from what I’ve read over the last few years, correct grammar may also be dying of neglect.

Clear writing demands good punctuation, appropriate form, and proper grammar. Punctuation makes meaning possible; form makes documents recognizable; proper grammar makes communication happen. Good editing makes good writing even better.

Here is what good editing can do:

I saw a sign several years ago: SORRY BREAKFAST WITH SANTA CANCELLED. Ah, for the want of a punctuation mark! Did anyone really want to go to a “sorry breakfast” with Santa? Perhaps the readers were glad it was cancelled.

It should have read: SORRY! BREAKFAST WITH SANTA CANCELLED or SORRY, BREAKFAST WITH SANTA CANCELLED. One little punctuation mark could have turned an embarrassing announcement into an apology. Punctuation makes a difference. So do grammar, sentence structure, and formatting.

Grammar, punctuation, and good sentence structure are not problems for me. I diagrammed sentences to death in school.

You do the writing. I’ll help you make your writing right.