Even if you’re writing something in your own language, it’s always a good idea to get someone else to read it and give some feedback. Sometimes you just can’t see the wood for the trees when you’ve been working for a long time on a document.
One of the most valuable services we provide at WLC is acting as a sounding board and providing the chance to get a second opinion on a word, expression or even a longer text.
Gary and I also constantly consult each other. He just rung me to ask how I understood the phrase “irregular payments.” To me it sounded like bribes, money under the table or kickbacks. Irregular may mean not regular, but it also means dubious, dodgy, illegal, fishy or questionable.
This was exactly the answer he’d been hoping for. “Irregular payments” is not wrong. But it is potentially ambiguous. And when the ambiguity could imply financial impropriety, it’s far better not to use it. He changed the text to “non-regular payments ” which is correct and completely unambiguous.
The moral of this anecdote? Even when you are 90% sure about something, there’s never any harm in asking for a second opinion.
I do wish the publishers of Bum magazine had consulted us before they went international. That name is a serious bummer!