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Why can’t we see our own mistakes?

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Note: This is a verbatim reprint of a great 2014 article by Nick Stockton on Wired.com, entitled, “What’s up with that? Why it’s so hard to catch your own typos.” YOU HAVE FINALLY finished writing your article. You’ve sweat over your choice of words and agonized about the best way to arrange them to effectively get your point across. You comb for errors, and by the time you publish you are absolutely certain that not…

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What the hell is a burin?

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On those occasions when one of us speaks to a new acquaintance about our copyediting service, Burin Media, the question usually arises, somewhat obliquely, as to what or who exactly is a burin? Most people assume it is either the surname of one of the company’s principals, or that the name itself is a nod to the city in which the company is based, Burien, Washington (suburb of Seattle, somewhat southwest of the city, home…

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Why Speling is Important1

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In a previous lifetime, I managed a fancy-schmancy restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Whenever a staff opening came up, one of my jobs was to cull through the hand-written applications (dozens, if not hundreds, depending upon the open position) and select 10 or 12 of the applicants to call in for an interview. I would then direct the three most promising to my boss, who would make the final decision. This was a daunting, time-consuming task,…

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