A Love Affair with Words

One of my greatest childhood possessions was my library card. My stay-at-home mom didn’t have a car, so a “trip to the library” consisted of visiting the bookmobile during its bimonthly trek to our neighborhood. The selection of books wasn’t large, but neither was I—I left that bookmobile every two weeks with a pile of books and a huge smile on my face. I could never decide which book to read first, so I’d start several at once. My mother marveled that I didn’t confuse the plots, but I never had a problem with switching between stories, and I enjoyed them all (especially with a flashlight under the covers after the official “lights out”).

Poster for bookmobile service of the Chicago P...
Poster for bookmobile service of the Chicago Public Library, showing a traffic light. “Curb service 10,000 current books – convenient, free, time saving : Chicago Public Library, Randolph St. corridor.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My love affair with words began early, and it has grown and morphed over the many years that have passed since those bookmobile days. I’ve always been fascinated with the way words sound, the way they look, and the rules surrounding their use that often seem arbitrary (but seldom are). I suppose it is natural, then, that I ended up working with words for my profession, and today I take great delight in helping you, the writer, polish your own sentences, paragraphs, and pages so those strings of words express YOU. If you’ve written anything—your own blogpost, an article, a research paper, a book—I’m here to help you make it the very best it can be. Call me today at 954-348-1963 or e-mail me at cyjohnson5580@gmail.com and let’s get started. One day soon someone will be reading YOUR words under the covers with a flashlight!


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Students Can't Write, Lack Effective Communication Skills

This is a Computer Fundamentals class taking a...
This is a Computer Fundamentals class taking an exam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress: 2011 Writing exam show that few students can write successfully in both academic and workplace settings, educators said.

If you struggle to use just the right words to get your point across, you may appreciate the article that appeared in the Orange County Register (CA). Even in this day of technologically savvy students, “Nearly three quarters of American students who took the first-ever computer-based national writing exam did not communicate effectively, even when allowed to use spell check, a thesaurus and other word-processing tools, according to a federal report released Friday.” The test, which measured students’ ability to “persuade or change the reader’s point of view; explain or expand the reader’s understanding; and convey experience or communicate individual experiences to others,” was given to a sampling of students that officials felt were representative of the overall population.

These results are so disappointing. Basic writing and communications skills are still that—basic skills—and even with all the money spent on technology in the classroom, students continue to struggle with something that will define them and their futures. Read the full article at http://www.ocregister.com/news/students-371409-writing-graders.html.

I’ll bet at least one of those students has an idea for a terrific book; I just hope he or she realizes there are professional editors who can help when the time comes.