GrammarPhile Blog

The Worst Things We’ve Ever Heard About Proofreading

Posted by Sara Richmond   Dec 23, 2020 7:30:00 AM

We submit, for the sake of tickling your funny bone, this unofficial and completely made-up list.

1. Proofreaders are all elderly spinsters who love cat sweaters, yell at children, and only date men who are named Oxford Comma.

Let us use this as a prime example of logical fallacy. First, cat sweaters are loved by any sane person so there’s no shame in that affinity. Yelling at children is something most people do on occasion even if they vehemently deny it (little people run around with sharp things, sing at the top of their lungs four inches from your ear, and describe bathroom habits to strangers—all on purpose, for goodness’ sake). Finally, there aren’t any men named Oxford Comma, more’s the pity for those of us for whom grammar-loving men are relevant and extremely desirable.

I may have given myself away.

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Topics: proofreading

A Failure in Professionalism

Posted by Sara Richmond   Dec 10, 2020 9:30:05 AM

I’ve come to confess. When I laugh extremely hard and simultaneously attempt to speak, I sound like a severely asthmatic pterodactyl. When I’m cackling over a bad joke* with my children or polishing off a bag of chips while binge-watching Netflix, it’s a delightful addition to the atmosphere. At other times, it’s a liability.

A couple of years ago, I was teaching an English class that went awry. My roster was filled with extremely dedicated, serious students, the type for whom a score of ninety was akin to a death knell for their scholastic dreams. While explaining a concept to a particularly sober young woman, I referenced the world map behind me. As I touched on the surface with the tips of my fingers, the clasp on the left-hand side broke and the map went catawampus. My eyes widened and I lapsed into stunned silence. I was overwhelmed by the awkwardness of the map’s precarious position and giggled. The student stared at me, deadpan, her lips disappearing into a thin line and her back ramrod straight. I attempted to regain my train of thought.

The map fell off the wall.

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Topics: business writing, proofreading

How to Cut and Polish Your Writing for Your Editor or Proofreader

Posted by Conni Eversull   May 30, 2019 7:30:00 AM

As a writer, you need to trust your editors and proofreaders, but you should still spend at least some amount of time polishing your writing before handing it over to them. Sure, this makes things somewhat easier for your proofreaders, but it also ensures clearer, better writing overall.

Do you have a clear review process that you follow before passing your work along to your proofreaders or editors? If not, here are a few things to consider if you want your writing to be the best it can be before giving it to someone else to edit.

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Topics: editing, proofreading, writing

5 Ways to Get Your Point Across in Business Emails

Posted by Conni Eversull   Oct 6, 2016 12:00:00 PM

If you use email as part of your job, you know what a pain it can be to sort through the daily onslaught. Endless “Re: re: re: re:” chains are just the tip of the iceberg – it just gets worse from there.

But here’s the important point: Everyone you email is in the same situation, and some of the messages they deem unimportant might be the ones you send. How do you get around that? How can you ensure that your message gets seen and understood by the intended recipients?

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Topics: proofreading, email, email marketing

Why Proofreaders Can't Do Everything

Posted by Conni Eversull   Aug 10, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Many business disputes stem from misaligned expectations: Each party thinks it understands what should result from an agreed-upon transaction, but the results leave one or both parties unsatisfied. Proofreading is no exception, which is why it’s important to know going in what you can expect from your editors – and what you can’t.

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Topics: proofreading, what proofreaders don't do, what to expect from proofreaders

3 Reasons to Do a Proofreading Review of Your Content

Posted by Conni Eversull   Jun 15, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Most businesses have produced a lot of content across a wide variety of channels. Between social media, blogs and website content, it’s difficult to keep track of everything that’s out there. It’s important to remember that the value and appearance of your content are a direct reflection of your business and can significantly impact your reputation.

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Topics: proofreading, maintain consistency in writing, consistency in writing, consistent messaging

5 Ways to Get What You Want Out of Proofreading

Posted by Conni Eversull   May 4, 2016 7:30:00 AM


If you’ve ever had someone else edit your writing, you probably know the feeling: The draft you receive from the proofreaders no longer has any spelling or grammatical errors – but it also bears little resemblance to what you wrote. Your voice, in other words, has been stripped out.

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Topics: proofreading, writing voice

3 Myths About Proofreading Services

Posted by Terri Porter   Feb 25, 2016 7:00:00 AM


Many ProofreadNOW.com customers are former do-it-yourselfers, commonly citing at least one of the following reasons for not outsourcing their proofreading:

  • We save money by doing it in-house. Outsourcing is way too expensive.
  • We can turn documents around much more quickly in-house without wasting time waiting to get proofread documents back from an agency.
  • Our style/subject matter/process is complicated. We need to keep our documents in-house for quality control, because no outside editor/proofreader could conform to our standards.
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Topics: proofreading

8 Proofreading Tricks (and a Few Treats)

Posted by Terri Porter   Oct 29, 2015 5:00:00 AM

Who says you’re too old to trick-or-treat? This week, we offer 8 tricks to help you become a better proofreader, along with a few treats at the end for those who proofread marketing, legal or medical copy.

Not all of these techniques will work for everyone, and they won’t work in all instances. Much will depend on the length and complexity of the text, the time available for proofreading and what works for you individually. I use some of these tricks regularly and others not at all. Give them a try with your next document and see what works for you. 

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Topics: proofreading, legal writing, medical writing, marketing writing, proofreading tricks, proofreading tips

Proofreading Quiz: And the Winner Is …

Posted by Terri Porter   Jun 25, 2015 9:30:00 AM

 

Thanks to everyone who took our proofreading quiz last week. Congratulations to Arlene Gregoire, who missed just three of the 51 errors, including some of the sneakiest ones.

The mistakes that tripped up most people appeared in the second and third sentences of paragraph 3: decreases/increases insulin and hyper/hypoglycemic. These errors go beyond basic grammar and punctuation mistakes, many of which Microsoft Word will highlight, and require a closer read to ensure the text makes sense.

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Topics: proofreading, proofreadinq quiz, quiz answers, proofreading quiz answers

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