One of my favorite childhood initiations is teaching my niece and nephew to play cards.
My family starts ‘em young — around 3-years-old — with the matching game.
You know, that game where you place all the cards facedown, take turns flipping cards over, and try to find matches. It gets them familiar with what cards look like and how to take turns.
Eventually, we build on those skills, and they move up to other, more interactive games (let’s face it: the matching game is a snooze fest) like…
These games get them familiar with counting and remembering advanced rules.
Once they master these games, we move on to poker — that’s right, by the time they’re 5-years-old, they’re gambling.
My favorite kid’s card game is Indian poker (I’m sure it has a less offensive name, but Google search wasn’t helpful. Because it told me other people call this game blind man’s bluff.)
First, we prep the playing area and the players.
All reflective items are covered and/or removed. (Curtains get closed. The table gets cleared off. People take off their glasses. NO cheating.)
And then, the bank (that’s usually my mother) hands out poker chips — which are candy.
Then, everyone is reminded of the rules…
Pick a card (don’t look at it).
Blow a little hot air from your mouth on to the back of the card (careful not to spit on it).
Stick it to your forehead so everyone can see what you have except for you (and hold it there, if your hot air isn’t working).
Now, it’s time to bet.
Hilarity ensues. Mostly because the kids forget how to play and eat their poker chips. (God forbid, you have to ask the bank for a loan.)
The kids learn valuable life lessons like how to bluff (it’s like lying, but the socially acceptable kind) and how to lose (not everyone can be a winner, so don’t pout) and how to build confidence (the same poker rules apply to everyone, so anyone can win).
Poker skills are clear to learn. But copy editing skills are fuzzier to learn.
That’s why I created Copy Edit School.
You’re going to learn valuable copy edit skills like flow.
Notice above how I said:
“Poker skills are clear to learn. But copy editing skills are fuzzier to learn.”
It’s a seamless transition from the poker story to the copy edit tip.
All you have to do is repeat a few words (like I did) to guide your readers from one thought to another without losing their attention or confusing them.
Try this copy edit tip the next time you want to flow like Eminem, yo.
Enrollment for Copy Edit School is currently closed.