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-The Daunting and Haunting Task of Proofreading

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Edit Ruthlessly

(Image by Dan Patterson via Flickr)

Proofreading is probably a writer’s least favorite task. It is also quite necessary, entirely expected, and all of the ‘rewards’ are negative at best. What makes it particularly daunting and haunting is the obvious fact that all of us fail at it occasionally no matter how many times we re-read and edit our masterpieces.

How many times have you bloggers glanced upon yesterday’s article that you’re so proud of only to find an obvious error that the spell check missed or worse yet you used the wrong ‘their’ there. It happens to me all of the time.

Then what do you do? I go back in and change it. I don’t care if it was written last year and it’s all over the Internet in cached form.The error is going down.

This brings up an entirely different subject. There are some who say that once an article is posted on the Internet it is sacrosanct and should never be altered. Horse pucky! Those folks are just crazy and maybe even a little lazy. All of the best publishers will change their miscues in the 2nd edition even if it is a NY Times best seller.

I actually found today’s topic while reading the newspaper of all things, proving that fish wrap can still be relevant if not amusing. Particularly when it’s consumed with coffee and Cheerios. Stephen Wilbers writes a great syndicated column that appears in The Orange County Register: “Writing For Business

Here’s a link to his website where you can subscribe and receive his columns every week by email if it doesn’t appear in your hometown paper: Writing for Business and Pleasure

Take a look around the site. There’s lots of good stuff to help you improve your writing and proofreading (look under ‘Contents’). Particularly take a gander at this one and the followup which is on today’s topic:

How to proofread and never miss a single errror

My greatest fear is that Dr. Wilbers will actually read this post and point out all of the obvious ‘errrors’ that I somehow missed. There’s bound to be several at least. When you find some let me know.              *Top

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3 Comments so far
  1. Ann August 1, 2011 6:05 pm

    Your very first line has an error that a proofreading should have caught: writers is missing the apostrophe. After that, it’s hard to read the rest. I’m that strict about proofreading.

  2. Dr.D August 1, 2011 7:58 pm

    Thanks Ann.

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