We Still Accept Bitcoin for Proof Reading and English Corrections - UKcopy Copywriting and Corrections

Archive for the ‘Spelling’ Category

We Still Accept Bitcoin for Proof Reading and English Corrections

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

We previously mentioned that we accept Bitcoins as payment for our Proof Reading, English Correction and Copywriting services. We’ve also had a few people take us up on the offer too.

Last year there was quite a dip in the price of Bitcoins and due to some bad press there was a lot of speculation over whether Bitcoin would survive as a viable currency. Well, here we are at the tail end of 2012 and I am happy to say that the price has rallied noticeably and things are looking up. Bitcoin has more than doubled in value from the dark days of last year and is still, in our opinion, a stable currency.

With that in mind we would like to remind everyone that we are still happy to accept Bitcoins for payment and look forward to a long future using them. Our Bitcoin Offers page lists a few special deals that we are offering in exchange for bitcoins.

For an up to date price (based on the current exchange rate) please Contact Us for a quote and we’ll give you a special deal just for using Bitcoin.

Affiliates

We have also signed up to a number of interesting Bitcoin services. These include:

Bitcoin Pyramid

and

BTC Matrix

Check them out, you may find them useful too!

Grammar Goofs for Native Speakers?

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

A post at ClayzMama.com pointed me at an infographic by CopyBlogger.com called 15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly.

It’s a great little summary of the most common grammar mistakes that we see being made by native English speakers but, it turns out, not so much by non-native speakers.

Mistakes by non-native speakers can be more elementary than the 15 listed by CopyBlogger. Missing out the definite article (the) and the indefinite article (a) tend to be the ones we see the most. However, they tend to get things like then/then. their/there/they’re and the general use of the apostrophe right.

The difference, I think, comes down to the way we learn languages. Our native tongue is usually learned by listening to others speak it. The most common errors I see with young native speakers these days are spelling words how they sound and not how they are correctly spelled.

When we learn a second language the process is more formalised and, usually, involves more study of the writen language than the spoken. Also, while English teachers in the UK have been told not to teach grammar directly anymore you will tend to be taught grammar when learning a foreign language.

So, I think, this illustrates why English teachers wish their students would read more. It really helps!

Beware of Non-native speakers offering English services

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Recently we have been redesigning our website. During the process we started looking at the websites of other people offering English Correction and Copywriting services.

What struck us most (apart from how dated some of the sites looked) is that so many of these services are run by non-native speakers. The problem with this is that how can you be sure that your English is being corrected properly if it is being done by someone who doesn’t speak English as a first language?

English Correction and Copywriting

A lifetime of experience

It seems unfair to suggest that non-native speakers can’t do a good job but the websites we looked at were littered with small errors. Simple nuances can make a huge difference and it takes a lifetime of experience and exposure to English to get things right.

Our Copywriters use English every day of their lives. They are constantly exposed to it in many different settings. From casual conversations to formal written work they are familiar with the conventions that are expected.

However good a non-native speaker is they cannot match this level of exposure and competence.

Don’t risk your livelihood on bad English Copywriting

If you need to communicate in English for your business then please don’t think that just any English Copywriters will do. Poor copy will put off your potential customers. It looks unprofessional and sometimes can even cause confusion.

Non-native speakers cannot match true native English speakers for subtlety and accuracy. If you want to be taken seriously make sure you get native English speakers to do your Copywriting and English Correction.

Then or than?

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

A common mistake that I have been seeing lately is the use of ‘then’ when the writer should be using ‘than’. I’ll give you an example:

…I think it was more due to luck then any skill on my part!

I have mostly been seeing this on websites from the US but it’s not just in comments and forum posts. It is cropping up a lot on blogs and even in more professional pieces.

I have taken it as more evidence of people writing what they think they hear rather than what they are familiar with seeing written down. Reading is not as popular a pastime as it once was. People of all ages have so many other things to occupy their time with that even those of us that love reading don’t spend as much time doing it as we once did.

Reading acquaints us with accurate and conventional written English. It becomes a blueprint for us to copy in our own writing. However, today people are more often  exposed to the spoken word than the written word. A great deal read very little and when they do are only reading the brief jottings of others like themselves. The popularity of online social media websites like Twitter and Facebook only compound this.

Consequently some one who wishes to write may not be familiar with the written version of the word they want and go with what it sounds like. Also, being unfamiliar with how a word is spelled often means that people often mispronounce them too. Common mispronunciations abound but the one that springs to mind is ‘congratulations’. This is now often pronounced, usually by Americans, as ‘congraDulations’ or ‘congraJulations’.

Some of this can be put down to the constant evolution of language which is a perfectly natural process. However, the general tendency to make up spellings based on the perceived sound of the word can only be thought of as a backwards step. Common spellings and structure are there to make the process of communication easier. The brain recognises familiar words quickly and allows the reader to take in the meaning of a piece of writing with ease. Mis-spellings require extra time and effort to understand and makes the reading process harder.

I recently sat with an English teacher as she not only had to decipher children’s handwriting but decipher the meaning of their spellings. In one instance a child of 13 wrote a sentence containing no correct spellings other than 1 and 2 letter words. It was virtually impossible to mark this work because the teacher couldn’t even begin to understand what the child meant.

There is a trend to pedantically correct the spelling and grammar of others on the Internet regardless of whether the meaning is clear. This is usually unnecessary and often done for comedic purposes but some attempt needs to be made to maintain standards so that we can all continue to communicate freely.

Does nobody proof read anymore?

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

There seems to be a severe lack of proof reading going on on the Internet. I see miss-spellings and grammar mistakes on a daily basis. Often this is due to the writer having to communicate in English to get his or her point across and it may not be their first language. On blogs I allow a bit of latitude too. A blog may be the endeavour of a professional writer but more often than not it is the musings of an ordinary person. Posts are written freely and quickly and published, warts and all.

However, what I see far too much of, in my opinion, is sloppy copy on professional sites. Often these are large multi-national affairs with plenty of staff (and budget) for a bit of checking. It is often simple things like plurals when there shouldn’t be any and vice versa. It’s not a deal breaker and, usually, the meaning is still clear but it is unprofessional.

If I’m going to trust a site with my online business I want to know that I can trust them to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. If they can’t manage that am I going to trust them to keep my credit card number and personal details secure? I don’t think so!

Reputation in business is everything but sometimes the smallest, seemingly unimportant, things can have a big impact. Customers react to subtle cues. They’re often unaware that they are doing it but they are heavily influenced in their feeling for a company or organisation by how that company or organisation presents themselves. We all judge a book by its cover whether we want to or not.

So, in short, you wouldn’t turn up to a job interview in shorts and a T-shirt so don’t do the equivalent on the web. Check everything twice and then get someone else, who hasn’t seen it before, to check it again.

[Edit: On proofing this I found 5 simple errors. I rest my case.]