Ask Kat: proofreading

Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Kooper » 週一 11月 22, 2010 11:42 pm

Dear Kat,

I wrote an essay about Japan type of management the other day. It is based on an article on the New York Times (click here). It would be very appreciated if you could help proofreading it. Please do it at your convenience. Thank you ~ :ssmile:

Here you go.


The Rise and Fall of Japan Type of Management

For the Japanese aged 50 and above, the 1980s is a glorious time that they probably would never forget. It was a time when the economy in Japan was unprecedentedly flourishing; their enterprises were steamrollering through global markets; Japan was topping the world in the amounts of foreign exchange reserve they possessed; the Japanese yen was being constantly revalued to a record high. Astonished by Japan’s seemingly invincible economic power, many then masters of management started peddling the view that it was Japan’s unique work culture that made their companies outdo the Western ones. Publishers also churned out books like “Japan as Number One” touting Japan’s success and digging up reasons behind the triumph. Running firms like the Japanese quickly became all the rage around the world. Among the most prominent features of the Japan type of management was the life-time employment model. That is, a person only work for one employer in their life.

The Japanese miracle, however, came to an abrupt end when its economic bubble finally burst in the end of the ‘80s. Since then, Japan has been caught in the quicksand of economic regression. The global economic meltdown in 2008 dealt a further body blow to their economy, and to their deep-rooted one-job-for-life work culture as well. Struggling for survival amid the crisis, Japanese companies started to slash expenses: downsizing, replacing official employees with contractors or avoiding paid overtime. No longer feeling the sense of job security and yearning for additional discretionary income, Japanese workers began seeking side jobs. The two forces add up to the final nail in the coffin of the lifelong one-on-one labor-capital relationship.

With hindsight, management theories seem not much different from women’s fashion. The hit changed as the years went by and, sadly, none of them proved to be superior to their predecessors. The take home message is: Next time when you hear of a new management principle raised by a so-called expert in management, think twice before embracing it.
Kooper
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Kat C » 週六 11月 27, 2010 8:38 am

Hey Kooper,

It's quite some writing you've done here! I've found no obvious errors so just polished it a bit. :) Great use of "peddle" and "tout"! What I usually do with my writing, and this is a suggestion for you if you're not doing it already, is to sleep on the first draft and come back to it later (and several times if time were not an issue). I end up with better turns of phrase or sentence patterns with each draft. Another rule of thumb: avoid repetitiveness. Vary the wording when expressing the same ideas.

If you have questions either post them here or Skype me.

Kat

------------------------------------------------------------
The Rise and Fall of Japanese-Style Management

For Japanese aged 50 and above, the 1980s was a glorious time that they will probably never forget. It was a time when the economy in Japan was flourishing unprecedentedly; their enterprises were steamrollering through global markets; Japan was topping the world in its foreign exchange reserves; the Japanese Yen was being constantly revalued to a record high. Astonished by Japan’s seemingly invincible economic power, many then-masters of management started peddling the view that it was Japan’s unique work culture that had helped its companies outdo their Western counterparts. Publishers churned out books such as “Japan as Number One” touting Japan’s success and digging up reasons behind the triumph. Running firms like the Japanese do quickly became all the rage around the world. Among the most prominent features of the Japanese style of management was the lifetime employment model. That is, an individual only works for one employer throughout their working life.

The Japanese miracle, however, came to an abrupt end when the asset bubble finally burst at the end of the ‘80s. Since then Japan has been caught in a quicksand of economic regression. The global economic meltdown in 2008 dealt another body blow to its economic health, and to the deep-rooted one-job-for-life practice as well. Struggling for survival amid the crisis, Japanese companies started to slash costs: downsizing, replacing official employees with contractors or avoiding paid overtime. Losing their sense of job security and yearning for additional discretionary income, Japanese workers began seeking side jobs. The two forces add up to the final nail in the coffin of the lifelong one-on-one labor-capital relationship.

In hindsight, management theories seem not much different from women’s fashion. Trends change over time and, sadly, none of them proves superior to its predecessors. The take-home message is: Next time when you hear of a new management principle proposed by a so-called expert on management, think twice before embracing it.
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Kooper » 週二 11月 30, 2010 11:16 am

Hi Kat,

How are you doing? First I want to thank you for helping out. I have been doing the same thing as you advised - after finishing the 1st draft of each article I usually keep a respite and get back to it multiple times. Each article will be revised several times before being posted. I guess you might be shocked if you read my first draft - it's a total mess. :wink:

I have two questions.

1. In this sentence "For Japanese aged 50 and above, ...", can I write "For Japanese ages 50 and above,..."? I saw some sentences on the Internet using"ages" in this case, but I'm not sure whether they are correct.

2. Is there other ways to say "Japanese-style management"? During my writing, I have difficulties finding various expressions of the term.
Kooper
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Kat C » 週一 12月 06, 2010 1:54 am

Hi Kooper,

Great questions! But first of all, "respite" is usually for a break or relief from something bad or difficult, and can't be used here. "Sleep on it" or "take a break" would work better. I "think" you might be shocked... Or drop "I think" entirely.

A word of caution on language usage you may find on the Internet: since anything goes here, I'd turn to "Google News" if you want to check out how professional writers use certain words. Journalistic publications generally go through vigorous in-house scrutiny before going out, especially big outlets like The New York Times, The Economist, etc. Otherwise you have random postings and individual blogs that can be written by just about anybody, native and non-native speakers alike.

To answer your questions:

1. For the use of "age", you can also do the following:
- For older Japanese, age 50 and above, the 1980s....
- For Japanese ages 50 to 70, the 1980s...

2. A good trick to find alternative wordings is to Google the leading word or phrase (in this case, put in "Japanese management"). But don't hit ENTER! Check what suggested words come up. Here you can find words such as Japanese management "practices", "techniques", "model", "philosophy", "principles"... It's fun. Try that! :D

Kat
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Julian » 週一 12月 06, 2010 2:38 am

Hi Kat,

It is really nice to see you on the forum. :) Please excuse my absence on you guys Q&A, as I'm jamed in various matters now and couldn't follow too many issues. Anyway, things move on as always and it's a pity that you are away from our coming party. I hope you are having good time and enjoy the moment of your life.

All the best,
Julian
銀藍色.象牙海岸的月光~雀躍著沉寂中的寧靜..
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Kat C » 週二 12月 07, 2010 10:30 pm

Hi Julian,

So nice to hear from you, too! How are things? You're doing such a great job with YOYO. I wish I could be there for all the meetings and outings!

But since I can't, I'm thinking maybe I can do a live chat up here? My computer doesn't have a webcam, but I can certainly do a Skype voice chat. What I'd do is to post an article here, and a date and time for the discussion. If people are interested, they can get on Skype at the said time for a group chat!

What do you think? I miss going to YOYO and would really love to do something with the group again. It'd be nice to catch up, too.

Hope all is well and have a great week!

Kat
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Julian » 週四 12月 09, 2010 2:50 am

Hi Kat,

Although overwhelming, things are going well eventually but I'm still sort of in the middle.
Many Thanks for being so supportive and your participations in YOYO events. I'm glad that you graduately become part of us and I think I've done nothing but my job. :ssmile:

Live chat..Mm..a good idea but as I know Kooper in ISG has done the same thing on Skype. I have to figure out the way to carry it properly including time, method and participants. Will check with some people for ideas and get back to you by later. Should you have any suggestion please feel free to let me know. Hope a great week to you, too! :)

Julian
銀藍色.象牙海岸的月光~雀躍著沉寂中的寧靜..
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Kat C » 週四 12月 09, 2010 6:31 am

Hi Julian,

Thanks for getting back to me! It doesn't have to be a really formal thing if it's going to add to your workload. :shock: It can be a social chat too if that's easier for everyone. It can give me an opportunity to say hi and catch up.

You've been doing a wonderful job with YOYO and making this the great group it is. Thank YOU.

Kat :D
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Kooper » 週五 12月 10, 2010 10:27 am

Hi Kat,

I have a proposal.
Why don't you make use of ISG meetings? It's held every Sunday morning from 8:00 to 9:00 (Saturday evening 7:00 - 8:00 your time). :ssmile:

The only question is I don't know if you plan a regular chat or irregular one.

If what's in your mind is an irregular chat, just let me know a week in advance and we can turn that ISG meeting into a "Chat with Kat" and invite all yoyo members to join it. The ISG members can still treat it like a regular ISG meeting and do some writing beforehand, while ordinary yoyo members can treat it like an ordinary yoyo meeting and just read the article you post before the meeting. By doing so, we will have at least three to four ISG members in the chat and have a chance to get more participants.

If you prefer a regular chat, we could turn one of our regular ISG meeting subjects - reading an article and writing an essay on it - into "Chat with Kat." By doing so, we will have the chat once a month.

If you are thinking about having the regular chat more than once a month, say, two times a month. We can turn another regular ISG meeting subjects - transcribing one-minute news - into "Chat with Kat," for most of the time we don't have much to discuss about the transcripts (most of the work have been done before the meeting and there is not much left for the meeting itself) and the meeting tends to be very short. The transcribing take place once a month. So now we could have two chats a month.

If you're interested in joining all of the ISG meetings (that means four times a month). That would be a very exciting scenario. We could raise the problems we have with the article, video clip, TV drama, or the transcribing and get your valuable input and have a good chat at the same time. Your participation won't be mandatory. You can always skip it if you have another plan on Sunday morning.

Let me know how you like my proposal. :ssmile: If I leaves any marvelous option out, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Kooper
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Kat C » 週六 12月 11, 2010 1:29 am

Hi Kooper,

Thank you very much for such a warm invitation! Originally I was hesitant to jump into any existing YOYO offerings, uncertain if I would end up disrupting them in some way, being over here and not knowing what's going on. Hence my proposal to Julian. My schedule is flexible but sometimes unpredictable as well, and that's another consideration.

With all that, if it's OK with you, I would like to just join in your ISG Skype sessions for now without any changes to your current program, whenever I can. If anyone wishes to chat with me after the meeting, they can just stay on. I'd be just another member. :) I'm happy to answer any questions if I can, of course - I'll try to do my own homework before coming on. :wink:

If things go well and people want to try or add something else in the future, like any of your wonderful proposals, I'm open to all of them. Time permitting. :wink:

So what do you think? Will that work?

If so, what are you guys doing this Sunday? Desperate Housewives Episode 3? Or something else? Do you have a schedule of some sort, like dates and topics?

I'm extremely impressed with what you're doing with YOYO-ISG. It'd be fantastic if I get to be part of it. Thanks again!

Kat
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Kooper » 週六 12月 11, 2010 11:00 am

Hi Kat,

Welcome! I'm sure it will work well. :wink:

Speaking of topics of the coming weeks, current plan of record is:

12/12 Desperate Housewives season 1 episode 3, part two
12/19 Reading an article and writing an essay
12/26 Transcribing
1/2 Watching a video clip and writing an essay
1/9 Desperate Housewives episode 4, part one
1/16 Desperate Housewives episode 4, part two
1/23 Article
1/30 Transcribing
2/6 Video clip
2/13 Desperate Housewives episode 5, part one
2/20 Desperate Housewives episode 6, part two
2/27 article

In short, the same four or five topics will repeat themselves over and over again until someone want to make a change. The schedule, however, is subject to change.

It is usually I who select the article, video clip, or the audio clip to use. Most of the time I managed to post the material at least a week in advance. The meeting itself is a bit loose and light-hearted, without specific agenda. The duration could be as short as 20 minutes or as long as one and a half hours. In the meeting, we generally raise questions, exchange thoughts, have some chat and occasionally do some practice like making sentence with new words. Most of the hard work take place before the meeting, when we are doing the assignment.

It is exciting that you might participate the meetings from time to time. I am looking forward to it. :ssmile: :sun:

Kooper
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Sherry Liao » 週日 12月 12, 2010 12:07 am

Hi Kat,

I feel excited at the prospect of talking with you in future ISG meetings. I met you once at a YOYO regular meeting, and was impressed with your pleasant manner as well as the clearness of statement and beauty of language in your speaking. It is sad that I cannot join the meeting tomorrow. Hope to meet you online very soon.
Sherry Liao
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Kat C » 週日 12月 12, 2010 12:52 am

Hi Kooper! Thanks for all the information. I'll definitely be on this Sunday and can't wait to say hi to everyone. Please just go about it the way you usually do. :)

Hi Sherry! That's incredibly sweet of you. I've read a lot of your postings here and they absolutely blew me away! I'll try to join YOYO-ISG regularly and hope to see you there someday.

Kat
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Sherry Liao » 週二 12月 14, 2010 11:08 pm

Hi Kat,

I am so glad to receive your reply, and I desperately want to meet you. I am going to join the ISG meeting the following week and two weeks after the following week. Not sure when I will meet you. Hope it won't take long.
Sherry Liao
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Re: Ask Kat: proofreading

文章Kat C » 週二 12月 14, 2010 11:58 pm

Hi Sherry,

I'll try to get on this coming Sunday but not a sure thing yet now I'm leaving town. Keep doing what you're doing because it's working big time! I'll see you up here soon.

Kat :D
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