Proofreading and Editing Business

My friend and I launched an online proofreading and editing business a couple days ago, called Engrish to English!

We've both mentioned the biz on facebook, we've created a facebook page, and I've tweeted about it. I was also planning to post some ads at local schools. Serendipity suggested posting an ad on Craig's List. Any other ideas? I want this to go somewhere! :)

We're offering free proofreading for documents up to 2 pages until November 15th. Any takers? ;)

12 comments:

Blog Gal said...

Free?! I may have a one page paper you could proofread for me this friday--it's a tax memo for an income tax class.

Little Miss Moneybags said...

You could also promote on scribd or other writing sites and blogs. NaNoWriMo is a good time to do that.

I have to say though...the name of the service makes me very uncomfortable. :( I find it to be a racial slur, and I understand what you mean by it, but it makes me sad and uncomfortable. Others might feel the same, so I thought I should say something. (Also, you're not doing translation work, which it made me think of at first.)

eemusings said...

I post on NZ tutoring sites - get quite a few bites that way. Editing isn't quite tutoring in the traditional sense, but it's pretty close IMO.

Newlyweds on a Budget said...

what a great idea! good luck with your business!

Sunflowers said...

@Blog Gal: Yup, free! :) Go ahead and email it to me at debtchronicles@hotmail.com

@Little Miss Moneybags: M actually expressed some reservations over the name. My friend & partner (who is Asian) thought the name was cute. And I've gotten the same kind of response from friends on facebook (many of whom are Asian). I personally don't consider it a racial slur or find it offensive... but I'm glad you brought your feelings to my attention. If you don't mind me asking - are you Asian? I'll have to do some more research as to whether other people find the word offensive.

@eemusings: Thanks! I'll check out the tutoring sites & forums :)

Sunflowers said...

@Newlyweds on a Budget: Thank you! :)

Frudoc said...

you could also post your service on
http://www.fiverr.com/

I stumbled upon this when thinking about how to offer freelance services. Unfortunately I don't have any random skills to sell for five dollars.

Little Miss Moneybags said...

I'm as white as can be. I don't consider myself to be super-sensitive to stuff like this, but as a name for a service that works with and understands the power of words, I find it dismaying.

I'm so sorry to rain on your parade like this, but I just had to say something. :(

Sunflowers said...

@Frudoc: Thanks!

@Little Miss Moneybags: No worries; you're not raining on my parade. ;) I appreciate you sharing your feelings. I've read some articles that talk about the word, and received some feedback on twitter. Most people don't find the word offensive at all.

I liked Revanche's twitter comment: "engrish itself is offensive to me, not the use of the word in context but its existence. Hate poor language usage!" And that's the whole point of the title (which is tongue-in-cheek, I might add). We want to invoke the broad sense of poor English language usage.

You'll have to articulate why you find it offensive. Some Japanese people poke fun at (mostly white) gaijin by calling the Japanese they speak "Nihonglish." Do you consider that to be a racial slur?

Little Miss Moneybags said...

Yes, I would consider "Nihonglish" to be a racial slur, just as I consider "Spanglish" to be one, or any other term used to refer to speakers of a non-native language which they struggle with due to differences between it and their native language. Whether it's about pronunciation, grammar, verb conjugation -- the fact is that it's making fun of a mistake that someone has made, and these examples are making fun of a group of people based on the common denominator of their race or cultural background, and nothing else. That pretty much defines "racial slur" to me.

The thing that really jumps out at me is that it's just not necessary. It's possible to be funny, or cute, or even sarcastic without resorting to something that makes fun of a group of people who haven't signed up to be made fun of. There are so many other names out there to choose from or create that it seems short-sighted to pick one that could be conceived of as offensive even to a small part of your audience, especially for a service working with language. Why go there?

As Revanche pointed out, I hate poor language use in general -- I hate-hate-hate things like KleanRite or other purposefully misused or misspelled words. So that's also part of it.

And perhaps I should mention that I hire freelance editors and proofreaders for my company on a constant basis, and I would never hire one with such potential connotations. I'd go with a more professional-sounding name every time.

I'm not like WHOA SO OFFENDED the way I am when people use the N-word, or when men tell women that we're "cute when we're mad". But it's higher on my radar than KleanRite. I'm more like, "hmm, uncomfortable with that name and sad that people don't think it might be offensive, think I'll skip to the next proofreader on the list".

Sunflowers said...

@Little Miss Moneybags: Ok. So if we have a mixed group of Americans (e.g. whites, blacks, and Chinese) all being made fun of by Japanese people for speaking Nihonglish, then that's still a racial slur? Are non-Japanese speakers considered a race?

In the context we're using Engrish we aren't making fun of a specific group of people. There is no "common denominator of race or cultural background." The suggestion is that everyone can write in Engrish, and we're there to fix that.

Why go there? Because it hasn't been done, and it's catchy. Unlike KleanRite, Engrish isn't a word we've made up. It exists in the lexicon.

As far as your preference to hire proofreaders with more professional sounding names... There are a million of them out there. Our goal was to distinguish ourselves.

You can't please everyone! The name isn't changing. But thanks for those thoughts. Admittedly, I would care more if you weren't white. As it is, I think you're being over-sensitive.

Little Miss Moneybags said...

I think this is getting a little too "someone is WRONG on the internet" for me. As I said, I felt bad bringing it up, but as I would do with any friend IRL, I mentioned it in case you weren't aware. I stand by the feelings it engenders in me, and I don't need to be part of the group being made fun of to find something uncomfortable in it, but in the long run it is what it is and it's none of my business.

Good luck with it. :)

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