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Why Pen & Knife?

I picked Pen & Knife as the name for my editing business because often the writers I worked with in my writing group often reacted to ‘suggested’ edits as if knives were being taken to their writing- despite being reassured time and again that the author has the final decision what edits they choose to keep or discard. 

​ I also imagined an editor editing in red ink… What I learned later is that penknife, or pen knife, is a British English term for a small folding knife. Today the word penknife is the common British English term for both a pocketknife, which can have single or multiple blades, and for multi-tools, with additional tools incorporated into the design. ​ Originally, penknives were used for thinning and pointing quills (cf. penna, Latin for feather) to prepare them for use as dip pens and, later, for repairing or re-pointing the nib. A penknife might also be used to sharpen a pencil, prior to the invention of the pencil sharpener. In the mid-1800s, penknives were necessary to slice the uncut edges of newspapers and books, as well. 

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