Linguistic Teaser

Services of Medical Linguistics Consulting

Tracking language changes that affect medical English usage

Editing biomedical documents

Your work will be edited to make sure it’s grammatically accurate, logically organized, and conforms to the stylistic guidelines (Government grant proposals, AMA, APA, etc.) which you’re expected to follow. Whether you’re new to research or are a veteran researcher, you’ll benefit from having your written research work edited by a linguistically trained medical editor.

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If English is your second language, I’ll identify features of your English that arise from the influence of your native language, and explain how to correct them. Such editorial comments, tailored to your specific needs, will improve all the papers you’ll write in the future. Contact me by email or telephone to discuss your project—at no obligation. Fees are reasonable, based on complexity and length of a paper, and on its deadline.

Assisting journal editors in handling questionable usage

If you’re a journal editor, you’ve probably received manuscripts in which everyday words or technical terms are used in ways that are atypical, but which may not strictly be incorrect. Or the structure of sentences sounds odd. You feel that something is wrong, but may not be able to identify what it is. You’re probably right: Something is wrong, but identifying it requires linguistic knowledge and intuition. For instance, the writer might be using words or structures which have begun to enter standard usage, but which haven’t yet gained traction. I’ll identify the issue, and make recommendations—usually in a brief report—on how you might handle it in light of your journal’s purpose and readership. I don’t have to know authors’ names nor the content of their papers. Simply describe the issue or provide an example of the problem. You can usually expect an answer within 3 days of sending the query. Fee for this service is reasonable.

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Providing a modern linguistic evaluation of style manuals and specialist dictionaries

A style guide written for English writers must reflect not only current scientific usage but also usage that’s up-to-date. It must also take into account the needs of a 21st-century global audience of English speakers, most of whom use English as a second language. Because English has become the dominant global medium of communication, the challenge of writing style manuals today is daunting. If you’re writing or revising a style guide or specialist dictionary, or you’re Chair of a style committee, you’ll benefit from the expertise of a trained linguist who can guide you in creating guidelines, or constructing entries or definitions that will work for global English audiences. Contact me by email or telephone to discuss your specific needs.


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