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Why is a good editor like a Victorinox Swiss card?

This Christmas, I was sent a present by one of my clients in Switzerland – a so-called “Swiss card”! Made by Victorinox, the world’s leading manufacturer of Swiss army knives, the “Swiss card” is an alternative to the traditional Swiss penknife and fits handily into your wallet, meaning you have a small knife, scissors, toothpick, pen and so forth all ready to hand. I was delighted by this gift, having had several Swiss cards in the past and lost them all (often confiscated at airports because I had forgotten to take them out of my hand luggage…let’s see how long I manage to hang onto this one).

A couple of weeks later, I spotted an image in a book where a marketing company compared their services to a Swiss knife,* and that got me thinking about how many of the services I provide are similar to the tools included in the Swiss card!

A good editor…

Knife: …cuts away redundancies

Scissors: …shapes your text

Pen:  …adds helpful suggestions

Tweezers and toothpick: …removes “nasties” like typos and errors

File: …polishes and hones expression

Pin: …helps you to get to and make your point

Ruler: …measures and counts words, lines, spaces and other formatting requirements

A good editor – a Victorinox-standard editor rather than a cheaper knock-off – doesn’t just correct mistakes. They will help you to refine your argument and expression, polishing your text so it flows effortlessly, making it easy for readers to hear your message and be convinced by it. They aren’t just a penknife – they’re a Swiss card!

If you want to find out more about how my editing input could help your project achieve Victorinox standard, please get in touch with me!


* The book in question was Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman’s Content Rules (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012); the image referred to can be found on page 39 and was created by the marketing software company Eloqua.

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