Spoken into written language: Turning the relative into the absolute

Nature of edit  Substantial edit to transform spoken content into written text

Type of copy  Commercial marketing presentation

Before

At the high end of the market there are, there are probably this year four or five names at the high end of the market who absolutely dominate the market at the mid-market, there are hundreds of names and the issue for you, you know is how do you work through those hundreds, how do you know which of those hundreds are going to become a leading player, and how do you know whether the right sum of money to pay for a particular solution from, from them, I think that it is not one that can be answered, by a member of the panel it is one that you have to work out for your business with the right kind of technology.

After

This year, 2001, there are probably four or five names that dominate the top end of the market. But at mid-market there are hundreds of names, and the relevant issues are how you can:

  • work through those hundreds
  • determine which of those hundreds are going to become leading players
  • calculate the optimum sum of money to pay for a particular solution from the companies on your shortlist.

What, then, is a realistic spend? This is not a question that can be answered by a member of the panel: it's one that you have to work out for your own business, with the right kind of technology.

Problem and solution

The problem in the original text has arisen mainly because spoken English and written English are two different languages. The spoken word includes tone of voice and volume, pace of delivery and body language - and these between them carry up to 80% of the meaning, which is utterly lost in a literal written transcription.

However, there is an extra factor in the original text that is also present in many written texts - words such as today, here and so on refer to times and places relative to the speaker/writer. A competent editor will recognise these relative terms and make them absolute by including the dates and locations. This means that a reader who was not present at the time and place of the original delivery of the text will nevertheless be in possession of the facts necessary for their understanding.

Finally, 'What is a realistic spend?' came earlier in the presentation, and was restated in the last paragraph of the edited version to ensure that the last sentence would make sense.