A change in the text: Amend vs. emend

If only we could alter some writers’ bad habits regarding the words amend and emend!

Amend is a verb meaning to change, usually for the better or to at least set something right. For example, The Los Angeles City Council plans to amend the city charter.

Emend is a verb meaning to improve by editing and typically is limited to text. To wit, The New York City mayor’s secretary planned to emend his letter by adding a comma.

Hopefully, you now will not not need to emend your first draft when either of these words appear in your manunscripts!


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.