It's really her, the Grump-tress...
Autumn Tompkins, The Grumpy Grammarian, copywriter and copy editor, might be grumpy, but it’s not because of grammatical errors — it’s mostly because of awkward social situations like…
- When people talk like Valley Girls. So. Much. Grumpiness.
- Getting my headphone cord caught in my wheelchair’s wheel. When will I learn to get a pair of wireless headphones?
- When someone reads what I’m reading over my shoulder. Personal space, pah-leez!
- People who pet my head like I’m a dog. Don’t make me curse at you.
- People who respond to text messages with “k”. Would it kill you to add an “o”?
- When people pronounce words wrong. Just because you listen to “feliz navidad” doesn’t mean that’s how you pronounce “fleece.
Get my book, The Grumpy Grammarian’s Guide To Copy Editing For Copywriters.
It’s packed with copy editing tips to help you write faster, better, stronger copy in less time. And is almost as fun as free condoms. Because you need to protect your words.
Articles Written By Me
Wanna know more? Of course, you do.
No. Being grammatically correct doesn’t persuade people. Clear, concise & compelling copy does.
Copywriting isn’t essay writing. Sometimes, being grammatically incorrect is more persuasive. Sometimes, splitting a paragraph into separate lines is better for readability. Sometimes, what’s wrong is actually right. There’s a difference between intentional and unintentional deviations from the rules.
Yes and no.
I have a congenital myopathy and spent the majority of my childhood in a hospital suffering from chronic pneumonia. My shortest hospital stay was 3 months. But my longest? Just shy of 7 months.
From the ages of 5 – 10, I spent almost 3 years in the hospital.
Don’t feel bad for me. It’s where I became The Grump.
Yes. It’s a real toe tapper.
The child entertainment specialist (Woody Wolfe) at Geisinger Medical Center made it his mission to make me smile.
He knew music was the way and wrote a song about my grump-tastic ways: The Grump Song. Which included some of my favorite sarcastic comments about hospital living.
No, I don’t want to eat breakfast. It’s 7:45 a.m. Do you honestly think I want pancakes that early in the morning?
No, I don’t want to participate in physical therapy. I’m supposed to be healing. Not stretching my hamstrings. Do you think I’m going to run a 5K?
No, I don’t want to paint, color, or put glitter on ANYTHING. How do you expect me to take part in enrichment programs with all these tubes attached to my body? Let me watch MTV in peace.
Here’s the song. Listen at your own risk.
When he sang that song to me, it was the first time I smiled in a hospital. For the first time, I knew it was okay to be a grump. Hell, it was actually fun.
Yes, I have…
A full sleeve of fall leaves and butterflies.
A vine and ladybug on my foot.
A quill pen and ink well on my hand.
A partial trash-polka themed sleeve with a raven, anatomical heart, and quote. (It’s still in progress.)
Does a kid want candy? Of course, I want more tattoos.
My body is my temple.And I decorate it accordingly.
My dream is to have a full body suit. And to be tattooed by Ryan Ashley, Sara Fabel, and Sarah Miller.
Besides sitting around being tattooed and fabulous?
DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING: big-picture edit that makes sure your copy’s message is complete and clear.
LINE EDITING: a comprehensive edit for style that makes sure your copy sounds like you.
- Sentence structure
- Awkward phrasing
- Word choice
- Excess words
- Generalities vs. specifics
- Jargon and clichés
COPY EDITING: a last-pass edit that makes sure your copy is free from common typos.
COPYWRITING: a strategic enhancement of your copy that connects your readers to you and compels them to take action.
- Power words
COPY MENTORING: a one-on-one program where I teach you how to write drool-worthy copy.
My 3 Cs of Editing:
Clear — When your copy is clear, it’s understood in a precise way. And remembered.
Concise — Reader’s value concise writing because it’s easier to read, better thought out, and better organized.
Compelling — When your copy is compelling, it…
Captures the reader’s attention and holds it. Causes them to nod their heads in agreement. And persuades them to take action.
Here’s how my formula works…
Think of it like emptying your Halloween candy bag when you got home from trick-or-treating.
First, you dump it on the table. (That’s brain-dumping your thoughts onto paper.)
Second, you check it for damaged candy and throw those pieces away. (That’s editing for clarity.)
Third, you take out the pieces you don’t like to eat. (That’s editing to make your writing concise.)
And fourth, you trade the candy you don’t like with candy from your siblings or friends and add those pieces back into your pile. (That’s editing where you add words back into your copy to make your writing compelling.)
What are you left with? Only the most clear, concise, and compelling piece of copy. Something that your audience will read and want more of. Like their favorite Halloween candy.