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EVERYONE Needs a Proofreader!">Why EVERYONE Needs a Proofreader!


This, from a prod­uct descrip­tion cur­rently posted online by Writer’s Digest — you read that right: Writer’s Digest:

“Write Short to Break Out! Build a bio that will get you noticed: Write and seel arti­cles, essays, short sto­ries and more.” My first thought was, “Shouldn’t that be ‘seal’?” My sec­ond thought was, “What does it mean to write and seal arti­cles, essays, etc.? Seal them in an enve­lope? [A bit old-fashioned.] Seal the deal??” Finally, it dawned on me that it was sup­posed to say “Write and sell arti­cles, essays, etc.” Easy enough to type two e’s instead of two l’s.

Then, this from the Feb. 8, 2010, issue of Time mag­a­zine:

“Writ­ing about Pres­i­dent Obama’s recent strug­gles in the Lon­don Times.” Um, did the Pres­i­dent actu­ally strug­gle inwrit­ing, not the strug­gle, that was in the Lon­don Times. So, this head­line should read: “Writ­ing in the Lon­don Times about Pres­i­dent Obama’s recent strug­gles.” the Lon­don Times some­how? In their build­ing? In writ­ten form in an opin­ion piece? Well, no. We prob­a­bly all “get” that it was the

I won’t point the above links pre­cisely to the pages with the errors because it’s not my way to air other people’s “dirty laun­dry” (no mat­ter how minor) in pub­lic. Also, please under­stand, I’m nei­ther pass­ing judg­ment nor pok­ing fun. I’m con­fi­dent these pieces were writ­ten by highly skilled writ­ers and proofed by highly skilled edi­tors. My point is sim­ply this: Even the best writ­ers and edi­tors miss things — I do, too. We espe­cially tend to miss errors in some­thing we’ve writ­ten our­selves. There is just some rea­son why errors we would eas­ily spot in some­one else’s work don’t pop out at us from our own. But if even Writer’s Digest and Time mag­a­zine go to press with errors like these, think how much more you and I, who don’t have a multi-level staff of edi­tors, copy­ed­i­tors, and proof­read­ers, need at least a sec­ond, if not a third or fourth, set of eyes perus­ing our work before it goes public!

(By the way, if as you read my blog, you spy an error, please email me [see the “Con­tact Final Touch Proof­read­ing & Edit­ing” page of this blog] and draw it to my atten­tion; I’d be grate­ful. Please put “Blog Typo” in the sub­ject line. Thanks in advance.)

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