GrammarPhile Blog

When You Can’t See the Trees Because You Planted a Forest

Posted by Sara Richmond   Apr 11, 2024 12:00:00 PM

I used to proofread my text messages. I’d use proper punctuation, fix all autocorrect atrocities, and even insert paragraph breaks.

Those days are long past.

Now, some of my friends and closest family members get texts along the lines of “Need graspy straws. Blogget can’t find tham. Good nigbt.” with a follow-up text of “Interpret as needed. ‘Talk to text’ is a dum-dum.’” (I’ve converted the swear words for the sake of propriety.)

Why do I tell text recipients to “ignore typos” almost as often as I create a typo? Because I text a lot more often. I write a lot more often. My fingers and mouth are steady streams of words.

And when you write a lot of words—especially when you have to do so quickly—errors are inevitable.

But I have a dirty little confession (one that’s in your dingy back pocket too if you’d let anybody see it): While volume and speed are rife with error-prone possibilities, the truth is that proofing your own writing is like trying to pinpoint your character flaws while gossiping about your trainwreck of a neighbor.

It don’t work good.

When you plant a whole forest, picking your way through the trees produces blindness—to the roots, the diseases, the limbs akimbo—to all the details. And the more times you pick through those woods, the hazier the view.

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Topics: proofreading, proofreading quality

What's the Big Deal About Typos?

Posted by Terri Porter   Aug 6, 2015 6:30:00 AM


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Topics: typos, proofreading quality, typographical errors, dumbing down of language

Can Nine Women Do Something Miraculous in One Month?

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Jan 11, 2011 5:30:00 AM

We, like many people I know who frequent sites like Amazon, ESPN, and even my newest favorite,, have recently been overrun with banner ads for a new 'proofreading' service. It seems a group of Internet enthusiasts convinced some California venture capitalists to come up with $5 million and started what they hope is a competitor to Replete with content-free buzzwords ("the 'secret sauce' is in how we process documents"), this service offers cheap proofreading in a blistering 24 hours.

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Topics: comparison of proofreading services, consistency in proofreading, proofreading quality

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