Is it Charles' book or Charles's book?
And is it right or wrong when we see signs in supermarkets selling banana's and apple's?
And finally, if the Jones family own a house. Whose house is it? The Jones’s house, the Jones’ house or the Joneses’ house?
Let’s go back to the basics to work it out.
Is it colour or color? Behaviour or behavior?
Most New Zealanders know that New Zealand English (NZE) uses colour and behaviour, following British English (BrE) spelling.
So, are there any differences between NZE and BrE spelling?
Is it I burned the toast or I burnt the toast?
What sounds the most natural to you? Is one more correct than the other? Does one sound more old-fashioned than the other?
And, which one is correct for New Zealand English?
The Māori language is one of the three official languages of New Zealand. Its official name is te reo Māori.
We often use Māori words within English writing, but there are a few points to remember to ensure that the Māori language is used respectfully and correctly.
Before I start, just a note: this is intended as a basic guide to using Māori words and names within an English text. For more detailed information, see the external source list at the bottom of this article.
I am in New Zealand and I am frustrated that my cellphone is programmed to US English (and I can’t figure out how to change it) so I end up using -ize endings when I use predictive text. I sometimes wonder if people think that I don’t know the correct spelling for New Zealand English. Do they even know if it is wrong in New Zealand English?
I wonder if US English-style predicative text usage has a part to play in the confusion that surrounds whether to use -ise or -ize endings in New Zealand English.
Quotation marks (also called quote marks, speech marks or inverted commas) are used to mark text representing dialogue or quoted material.
They can also be used for ‘scare quotes’ (see what I did there?) and are used to show that a term is sarcastic, slang, a term that would not normally be used in that style of writing, or to isolate the term for attention.
New Zealanders are exposed to an increasing mix of American and British books. Our brains merge the two grammar systems until we no longer know instinctively what is right for New Zealand English.
So, where does the punctuation go with quotation marks in New Zealand English?
Just to make it confusing, there is a traditional answer and a modern answer.
Congratulations! You’ve done it. After months (or years) of hard slog and heartache, you’ve finished writing your book. You’ve got it as good as you can get it.
Now it is time to take to the next level.
If you are self-publishing, the next step is to approach an editor to fine-tune and your manuscript and get it ready to send to the publisher or printer for design and typesetting. There are different types of editors, so make sure you understand which stage your book is at and which type of editor you need to speak to.
Before you speak to an editor, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure everyone is working to the same brief.
Your editor will, no doubt, have more questions for you, and feel free to tell them more – every bit of information helps an editor get a feel for you and your writing.
How do you know which type of editing you need?
Many people think that editing is simply checking a written document for grammar and typos. Yes, this is part of what an editor does, but there are many more aspects to the editing process that need to be completed for a novel or document to be ready for printing.
Not only are there more aspects to editing than just checking spelling, there are several levels (or stages) of editing. The lines can be a little bit blurred between the levels, and different countries or organisations define them slightly differently, but at each stage, the editor focuses on different details until the manuscript is ‘clean’ and ready for printing.
When you are speaking to an editor about their services, make sure you know exactly what their service at each level will include. Don’t assume you are on the same page (so to speak).
As an author, you want to show your best work when you take your manuscript to a publisher or agent. Your story may be the next best seller, but to be noticed among the masses, it may help to have tidy manuscript - every detail counts. There are several formatting errors that many writers make when using Microsoft Word which are an easy fix if you know how.
Below are several common errors and how to fix them. Some of the errors are made as a result of the way things were taught in school and the remnants from days of typewriters, some are made as conventions have changed over the years and some are made just because.
Marja Stack is a copy-editor and proofreader based in New Zealand. Her business, Clearlingo Editing and Proofreading, caters to all writers of fiction or non-fiction books. For more information or enquiries for how she can help you make your book shine, please see her website: www.clearlingo.co.nz.
New Zealand English Series
*NZE: hyphens, en dashes and em dashes
*NZE: How to write times and dates
*NZE: Is our spelling different?
*NZE: Burned vs Burnt
*NZE: Using Maori words in English text
*NZE: -ise vs -ize endings
*NZE: Single or double quote marks
*NZE: Punctuation inside or outside quotation marks?
The Editing Process
*Types of editing
*5 things to tell your editor
*The revision and editing process
*What are beta readers?
*What to expect when you get your manuscript back
*How to order the pages of a book
*Fact checking fiction writing
*Formatting your manuscript for submission
*How long does it take to edit a book?
*How to use Tracked Changes in Word
*How to use basic Word Styles
*How to fix common formatting errors in Word