10 Oct 2014by Georgie Cousens

Why is proofreading so important

proofreading

Have you ever seen those text examples on social media platforms that include various spelling mistakes or grammatical mistakes? Which type are you:

The one being caught out by those mistakes?

or

The one spotting every single mistake?

It’s easy to be caught out by spelling when you skim over text. If your brain fills in the blanks for you, you may not recognise a mistake. Oh dear, let’s hope the client didn’t see it. Because clients will start doubting the professionalism and integrity of the person or company writing the text. They start not to think about what the text is actually saying, but only see the mistakes and errors.

But you might have been in the group with the people who notice every spelling mistake and grammatical error and get put off by it.

Luckily I can say that I belong in this second group. When I read a novel and I find a couple of spelling mistakes (within the probably a hundred thousand words) I first check which publisher the book is from, I start thinking that this book might not be worth reading it as obviously the author, publisher and proofreader did not put enough effort into this book. I know that is a bit silly, but those are my thoughts about spelling mistakes.

I dislike txt-language, especially those where the txt word is not actually an abbreviation anymore and turns into longer word, than it would’ve been had it been spelled correctly. Txt language stems from the fact that we use use 160 characters per text message. But these times are long gone. So please can we go back to written English in our texting?

Chances are high that a lot of your readers will get be put off by seemingly very little mistakes within your documents or presentations. They might not be important to you, but they are to other people.

Often when we’re working on a document over a long period of time our eyes and brain can’t see those errors anymore, even when we’re looking for them. The author knows what he or she is trying to say, therefore, it gets very easy to miss mistakes.

Of course almost every word processing software and other tools have the ability to check your spelling and most grammar for you. But beware. Although these are great tools, they do not find everything and they are not perfect in the suggestions they give. (Before you do anything you need to ensure that the language used for spell checking is in fact the language you use in your document). Spellcheck is ok for checking emails and quick notes, but don’t rely on this if you have a larger document.

If you’re producing lengthy reports or documents, especially those intended for the public or clients, it would behoove you to employ the skills of a professional proofreader. These people have a skilled eye for spotting mistakes. A proofreader can also check to make sure it is written coherently, that it makes sense and covers everything you intended. For example, in a recipe book, a proofreader would check that the ingredients mentioned in the ingredients list are covered in the method.

A faultless document will increase your reputation and professionalism with your clients and is therefore a very valuable investment. If you’re on the look-out for a proofreader, get in contact with us now. We can help.

PS:  I had intended to write this post with a massive amount of spelling mistakes but I actually can’t get myself to do so… Can you still find some? Share them here!

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