Ari LeVaux, who writes a nationally syndicated weekly food column, which appears in 70+ newspapers
Editing work samples
When I read the newspaper or the program for an event, I often wish I had my red pen in hand and could help clarify what I’m reading or make sense from nonsense! Here are some recent examples; I will keep adding to this over time, so if you like reading how people can mess up the English language, come back again to read more!
1) This sentence comes from the program for a play I saw. It’s part of the short bio for Mary Shelley, who is the main character in the story:
The death of Mary’s mother left a profound impact on her life—as she grew up, she was frequently compared to her in beauty and personality.
I found the sentence awkward, and if Mary’s mom hadn’t died, the reader wouldn’t know which “she” and “her” referred to which woman! Here’s what I think is much cleaner and clear:
Edited version: The death of her mother left a profound impact on Mary—as she grew up, people frequently compared her to her mother in beauty and personality.
2) Here’s a quote from an Associated Press story about Father’s Day:
Fathers in the United States tend to be better educated than men without children, and relatively few men have children over age 40.
First of all, these two statements are not related and don’t belong in the same sentence together. But worse than that, the second statement reads very differently than intended–LOTS of men have children over age 40–my husband has two sons in their 50s! What the writer meant to convey is that: Few men older than 40 father newborns.