An English tutoring column by Ralph Schatzki who would like you to join him
in the task of saving the language, step-by-step, word-by-word, one person at a time.
Word count tool-A little help for everyone who has to deal with litmited space
when it comes to filling in sumission form or any online writing.
There is a nice word count tool on this page: feel free to use it as you will,
and feel free, also, to contact me with any editing needs you might have.
Small Space Dilemma
One of the less attractive facets of participating in cyberspace is when one must fill
in information in a field, yet given little space in which to do so. It's not at all
uncommon to run out of space when trying to explain something in an on-line application
or form, and if it's something of more than trivial importance it can be tremendously
frustrating to realize that one's ability to convey important information is curtailed
by a programmer's short-sightedness.
For example, you might be filling out a job application on-line, and a question might ask,
"Is there any other important information about you that you think we need to know?"
Then, a small box appears, and it says in very fine print underneath, "Limit 250 characters."
How can you possibly explain in such a short space all the unique circumstances attendant
to how you took off the last eighteen months because you were looking after your sick mother?
Or, you enter a contest in which you have a twenty-five word maximum to come up with a slogan
for a new peanut butter. A lot of people throw up their hands in despair when they try to
express their thoughts so clearly and concisely, and who knows what sort of wonderful
advertising campaigns the world may have lost as a result?
So many writers get stuck because they work with such a limited palette of expression,
and they are simply unable to break out of the boxes they build around themselves.
To express one's thoughts clearly and concisely is a goal in all writing of course,
not just on-line. To edit another's work, then, requires not only a writer who knows
what he wants to say, but also one with experience in saying things in many different
ways- for the editor must know what it is the writer is attempting to put forth.
A proofreader, editor, author, math teacher and tutor, professional opera singer, ex-lawyer (by his own choice), sports fan, husband and
father. He has lived on both American coasts, as well as in the southwest and midwest, and overseas in Thailand for more than thirteen
years. He loves to read, write and perform, to watch sports, and to spend time with his family.
If you are pleased with this column,
please treat us to a cup of Joe!