The CEO of a Swedish multinational firm was asked what language the company used. The answer was, “Bad English”.

Most users of English are non-native speakers and, not surprisingly, the language used is often, as the Swedish manager put it, bad English.

Communicating in a second language often involves ambiguity and misunderstanding and can eventually lead to serious problems. An example can be found in the sentence you just read: The English word eventually means in the end, finally, while the Swedish word eventuellt means possibly, potentially.

My role as copyeditor is to make sure that bad English is transformed into good English.