Have you ever felt so embarrassed by a mass-produced typo that you felt like hunting down every copy of the document or object where it appeared?
We recently tweeted the front-page typo of a leading Nigerian newspaper reporting on news from “Dafur” instead of “Darfur.” The automatic reaction to the typo was: “How can I trust this information when the writer couldn’t even spell the main topic correctly?”
Sometimes, your typo may not have been shared with a large audience but its potential consequences remain heavy.
We edited a CV where the jobseeker had spelled the name of the company he worked for wrong. This begs the question: “How much attention did that person give to that job if he can’t even spell a name he saw every day?” Or worse still, “How am I sure that he worked for that company at all?”
Typos discredit a writer. They betray a lack of attention to detail and sometimes make the reader question your credibility. We all make typos and somehow reserve the right to judge others when we catch one. So, it’s so important that once you’re done with writing and self-editing your text, you take the time to proofread it.
Below are few quick and dirty tips to help you do this more effectively:
1. Increase the font size and the spacing of the text just before proofreading.
2. Read each word of your text out loud to hear any omission you may have made. The reason why we miss mistakes when we read over our text quietly is that we often read what we thought we wrote rather than what’s actually on the page.
3. Often, printing out the text you’re proofreading will help. Our brain makes lots of assumptions. Changing the format of what you’re reading (in this case, going from an electronic format to a print format) is just one of many tactics to make the text look fresh and prevent your brain from assuming.
4. The best way for a text to appear fresh, is for it to be fresh; so get someone else to read it.
Check out our blog for more writing, editing and proofreading tips: http://www.editiq.com/blog/