Thursday, 12 March 2009

Proof reading errors

Writers and Proof Reading errors

We've all done it haven't we? Rushed to do a piece of work, hit send on the email and then realised there were some mistakes.

Oh how embarrassing. Except that usually they're honest mistakes not deliberate howlers. Proof reading is one of the most difficult things to do, especially for your own work. Which for would be authors can prove a test.

My sister is a proof reader and I know how complicated some of the text is that she looks at. And how much effort goes into the work she does to get it right.

With the Writer's Little Book...with Big Ideas, I decided to leave in some mistakes in the text. Well in a book with a purpose to help writers hone their skills across the writing process it seemed a good exercise for buyers of the book to look for them.

It was much against her advice though, because of course she said, people might think you don't know what you're doing. But that brings up another point. Grammar and ways of writing are so varied these days that there seems to be no one style to follow. Use of punctuation differs from country to country and spelling also. (as an aside think of the insidious march of the z instead of s in many words - spell check has a lot to answer for)

Yesterday I went into a toilet in a Nottingham city centre store. On the doors of the toilets was a message about the performance of the toilets explaining the problems. At the end the message read, "sorry for the inconvience". On each of the notices someone had added the correct spelling.

Prrrooof reeding anyone?

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