How confident are you about your written English? It has become the global language of business, and much else. It is fast becoming the first-choice second language around the world, and young people going into business, media and public life often see English as a vital skill.
You may speak excellent English, but written English is a different thing. The language is idiosyncratic, and constantly evolving, so what was good style 20 years ago can come across now as stilted, old-fashioned, inappropriate.
Professionals working now are still using the English they were taught at school from text books that may have been written 20 years before that – even if their spoken English is right up to date.
One of my favourite kinds of work is polishing poor English, either written by people who aren’t native English speakers, or translated badly by an agency using non-natives. I love editing far more than I love writing, and it’s fun taking a piece of substandard text and giving it a scrub and a good buffing to bring it up to a linguistic shine.
Sometimes it’s amending minor… Read more