The Importance of Proofreading

“Eats Shoots and Leaves” vs. “Eats, Shoots and Leaves.”

What a difference one comma can make in readability and even meaning. The above is the title of Lynne Truss’  book about grammar. Like many people, I am on social media, and notice misspellings and typographical errors. I don’t correct these errors, as I understand that people dictate posts and messages into their phones. It does seem to me, though, that proofreading has fallen on hard times. Using my own skills, I attempt to help when appropriate.

Naturally, I proofed my own papers when in school, and even other classmates’ writing occasionally. I first realized, at college, that I have this skill. If only I’d been on the college yearbook staff! In my current nostalgia brought about by remembering happy times before COVID-19 lockdowns, I’ve revisited college yearbooks and unfortunately noticed many errors. I even took to marking corrections in these yearbooks. After so many years, it wouldn’t hurt anyone, right?

Fast forward to 2007, when I let the world know I can do proofreading. I had the privilege—and being trusted with someone’s work is always a privilege—to proofread someone’s doctoral thesis proposal. Through the years I proofread regularly as part of my duties as a customer service representative (this fell under the heading of “other duties as assigned”). In 2015, I started Eagle Harbor Editing, and have edited—and written—blog posts for a digital marketing company in California.

I’ve heard over the years that mistakes in writing can undermine credibility. To a certain extent, I believe that’s true. But such errors can be corrected, with a close eye on the text before the content is public. I endeavor to be tough on errors, but gentle and gracious with writers.

2 Comments

  1. Wynne, Nice blog post. Well said! Happy Friday, dave _____________________________________ K. D. Kragen K a v e D r a g e n I n k LLC /\/\/\/\/ http://www.kavedragenink.com \/\/\/\/\ kdk@kdkragen.com http://kdkragen.com http://killware.com http://plagueman.com _____________________________________

    On Wed, Jan 20, 2021 at 12:12 PM eagleharboreditingdotcom wrote:

    > wynneejacobson posted: ” “Eats Shoots and Leaves” vs. “Eats, Shoots and > Leaves.” What a difference one comma can make in readability and even > meaning. The above is the title of Lynne Truss’ book about grammar. Like > many people, I am on social media, and notice m” >

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