Editor’s Pet Peeve: Affect vs. Impact

August 30, 2011

When I was a newbie reporter at the Houston Chronicle, I once made the mistake of writing about how some city legislation would impact residents. “Impact means collision,” my editor said as he changed the word in my copy. “Like in a car crash. Laws don’t impact people. Laws affect people.” That day, his pet […]

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Self-editing: 10 ways to tighten your copy

December 13, 2010

Want more tips like these? Check out my free newsletter. The difference between a mediocre writer and an excellent writer often comes down to whether you can tighten your own copy. Eliminating unnecessary words makes every story cleaner, easier to follow and all-around professional. I’ve long enjoyed editing, which is why I’ve edited friends’ chapters, […]

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