If even hearing the word “proofreading” makes you want to hide under a rock in memory of your 9th grade English teacher, then you might want to lay low (lie low?) on Sunday, March 8th, which is National Proofreading Day. Dedicated to promoting professionalism through mistake-free writing, this day is a great reminder of the need to slow down and respect the power of the written word.
While anyone can fall victim to an occasional typo, repeated mistakes and careless errors speak to greater issues. Can your clients trust that you will be more careful with their project than you are with your own? Are your errors representative of a larger sloppiness that permeates your business? Surely not. But why leave it to question? It’s easy enough to prevent most errors from ever seeing the light of day.
Steps you can take to honor National Proofreading Day:
- Use spell check and grammar check on your computer when available, but never rely on them completely. If you have a homonym error (two words that sound alike but have different meanings, such as “grate” and “great”) spell check won’t notice.
- Set aside what you’ve written, and come back to it later. Even thirty minutes away will help you see it more clearly.
- If you are writing something important, ask a trusted friend or colleague to review it for you.
Finally, if it’s been awhile since you’ve even thought of your 9th grade English teacher, look her up and send her something nice. Maybe she’ll change your grade.