Bite-sized Tips

The ‘Bite-sized Tips’ series began when I realised after years of reading, writing and translating that I wasn’t actually that clear about grammar, spelling and punctuation rules.

While we may get away with a few errors in our own work if we’re consistent throughout a document, when we’re editing and revising others’ output, it’s imperative to understand these rules and justify any changes we make. That’s why I chose the New Oxford Style Manual as my go-to style guide.

I soon also turned to The Chicago Manual of Style for UK and US differences and because Chicago sometimes explains things better with more accessible examples.

I’ve now added Butcher’s Copy-editing and other reference books on proofreading, punctuation and style to my shelves.

If you’d like to find out more about why I spend time on this type of post, please read: Why All the Fuss about Spellings and Style Guides?

The ‘Bite-sized Tips’ series is divided into posts on: ‘Common Mistakes in Papers for Publication’, focusing on errors I’ve noticed in my editing work of academic papers; posts on specific topics (how to write the time, quotation marks, italics, false friends, etc.); and spellings.

Common Mistakes in Papers for Publication

  1. Some punctuation and spelling basics
  2. Data is or data are? And some more punctuation errors
  3. Numbers (1): General, decades and centuries
  4. Numbers (2): Dates and currencies
  5. Numbers (3): Percentages, mathematical symbols and footnotes

Specific Topics

  1. Spanish Place Names (How to write them in English)
  2. Times (Is is a.m. or am? What does 12.00 a.m. mean? And more)
  3. Watch out for the Dragon (Spelling and punctuation problems with using DNS)
  4. Quotation Marks or Italics
  5. False Friends on Hotel Websites


  1. One Word or Two?
  2. Ten You Should Know
  3. Some You Might Not Know (mishmash & some UK/US differences)
  4. One Word
  5. Mostly Points & Hyphens
  6. Hyphenated
  7. Two Words
  8. Only One Word
  9. All One Word Again
  10. By the Sea
  11. Fighting the Spellcheckers
  12. Pesky Hyphens
  13. Some that might trip you up
  14. Some Tricky Ones
  15. Another Ten
  16. Getting Trickier Every Time
  17. The Dragon Agrees (10 spellings DNS gets right)
  18. Disagreements with the Dragon (10 things DNS gets wrong)

Image by Lorenzo Cafaro from Pixabay 

15 thoughts on “Bite-sized Tips

  1. Thanks for the tips. I teach a course in translation and interpretation and am always on the lookout for ideas for translators, that is, to help support my content in class. Several of these tips have been discussed in class. Keep them coming!

    Liked by 1 person

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