Author Archives: Justin Crozier

February 18

Words We’re Scared To Use: But, but, but…

The first in an occasional series about words that people are wary of using… 1. But me some buts! For me, one of the best lessons in editing came from reading out essays during college tutorials. Bleary with sleeplessness yet strung out with the gallon of coffee that had sustained me, I’d stammer out the […]

December 08

Making it count: how to shorten your copy in 10 easy steps

This is the first in a series of “how to” blogs in which we’ll explore some of the tricks of our trade. Most writers often have to work to specific word counts. These limits may seem arbitrary but are usually due to the space available in templates or typeset documents. Your first draft of an […]

Jabberwocky July 01

All Greek?

There’s nothing like a continent-spanning currency crisis to spawn new vocabulary. And when the cradle of Western civilisation is at the heart of that crisis, there are several thousand years of cultural allusions and punning opportunities for headline-writers to exploit. We’ve had no end of Greek tragedies since the eurozone crisis began, frequent references to […]

February 05

Hooray for Giraffedata!

There are few things more heartening than reading of a lone, heroic struggle against the forces of darkness. So we at Copylab were delighted to learn of Giraffedata, aka Bryan Henderson, a crusader against ugly prose on Wikipedia.   Giraffedata wages his war on a narrow front: the use of that loathsome phrase “comprised of”. […]

March 04

Languagelab: Word Wars

For anyone involved in writing or editing, linguistics is an interesting field. It’s also a battlefield. On one side are arrayed the forces of prescriptivism, under their ancient banners of principle and precedent. Ranged against them are the rag-tag rebels of descriptivism, with their disregard for tradition and refusal to defer to authority. If you’re […]