If At First You Don’t Succeed… Proof, Proof Again.
Typos happen. They’re inevitable, but catchable. It’s funny how such a small thing like “teh” vs “the” can say so much. A few of the things a client might infer from tiny typos like this:
- You didn’t spend a lot of time making sure the piece was grammatically correct.
- You forgot where the spell-check button is.
- You don’t care enough about the project to make sure imperfections are eliminated.
- If you messed that three letter word up, what else did you mess up in the piece? Did you spell everyone’s name correctly? Is the rest of the information fact-checked? Your credibility just went down a notch.
Like we said earlier, typos are inevitable because we’re human and the computer can’t do everything for us. But time, patience, and dedication to perfection can help. Even if you’ve read those paragraphs 18 times, there’s still a chance you missed something– when you’ve looked at a piece that many times, you come to expect what your eyes will read, and what the words will say. That’s when it’s easy to miss the little things that will be more embarrassing to correct later.
Read it three times, three different ways.
- The first time through, just read it. Don’t make corrections– just read it.
- The second time through, go more slowly and pay attention to the little details such as spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and the placement of information. Does it all flow?
- The third time through, read it backwards. That’s right. Backwards. At this point you’re probably prepared for what the words say, and reading it backwards can catch you off-guard, making those tiny typos more obvious.
It’s helpful at that point to step away from the content (although we know that’s not always feasible– deadlines wait for no one) and come back later to proof the revisions you’ve made. And when you think you’re done– proof it one more time.
Proofreading and editing are small but important aspects of doing great work on any project. Keep your standards high!on any project. Keep your standards high!