Swet Columns

The In-house Dogsbody

by Doreen Simmons

How far is an employer justified in changing or adding to the job description of a new employee?  Our lovable old tabby is positively cross-eyed with benevolence, but lately she has been seeing some ominous extensions. We should be willing to try something new—who knows, this may be our next good career move—but how... more

Ghost-writing vs Over-editing

by Doreen Simmons

Ghostwriting is a special form of the writer’s craft. It often takes time for an author even to find his or her own voice; but the ghostwriter has to assume the persona of someone else. Novelists and dramatists are free to invent the characters and the content of what they say; but the ghostwriter has to take someone... more

No More than Necessary

by Doreen Simmons

Aunt Eva shows us how to work around the pitfalls of working with someone who seems bent on giving you more than you need.

Dear Aunt Eva,

There’s this translator our agency uses. He’s been with the agency a long time, since before I joined several years ago. He translates accurately, but his writing style is... more

Unwarranted Confidence

by Doreen Simmons

It may seem amazing that some people think a casual hunt in a pocket-size Japanese-English dictionary will produce the same result as informed knowledge, but they do.

Dear Aunt Eva,

I specialize in producing art catalogues. Important clients think so, anyway. I have, however, had an adverse experience: I... more

Bridge-building Books

by Doreen Simmons

“Building bridges between cultures” has been a safe subject for talks and textbooks for many years; how far is an outsider justified in interfering with work in progress? Our pensive old tabby weighs the pros and cons.

Dear Aunt Eva,

I’ve been asked by a publisher friend to give an opinion on a supplementary... more

“Bill Me for Everything” Change

by Doreen Simmons

When one party to an old relationship of trust suddenly wants to put it entirely on a businesslike footing, what’s really afoot? Well-balanced Aunt Eva, who likes a bit of friendly give-and-take herself, advises treading warily on this one.

Dear Aunt Eva,

I have a niggling little problem and would welcome a... more