I am a descriptivist. But I can be your grammar and punctuation wonk, if you wish.

Per the Cambridge Dictionary, descriptivism is “the belief that books about language should describe how language is really used, rather than giving rules to follow saying what is correct and not correct.”

Effective communication involves an agreement, usually tacit, between two or more parties about the meaning of words, phrases, and sentences—a shared worldview. That agreement isn’t found in any dictionary. So, I tend to have a gentle touch as a copy editor. I am much more concerned with preserving your voice and in meeting the needs and expectations of your audience than adhering to fussy and pedantic rules.

In general, I always encourage the use of plain language, ensure consistency in spelling and abbreviations, and normalize punctuation. I will also recognize and respect your poetic voice.

Please note that copy editing does not refer to extensive restructuring or rewriting of your manuscript. A few line edits here and there are no big deal, but contributing significant amounts of new content gets into the realm of ghostwriting or coauthoring. Those services are quoted on a case-by-case basis, depending on the content type, deadlines involved, and other factors.

For more information, contact me at sean (at) seandennis (dot) com.

Photo taken in Dominical, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.