Tuesday, August 27, 2019

TIP TUESDAY: PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Sometimes it doesn't matter how many times we proofread. We still make mistakes and don't spot them because our brains automatically correct words that are close to being spelled correctly.

When I was a newspaper reporter, we received dozens of complaints from readers if we had a single misspelled word. Callers would tell us how stupid we were. They'd laugh at us. They'd shout at us. I once said to a colleague, We get thousands of words right every day, but we make one little mistake and people go crazy.

I once wrote manger instead of manager in a graph on the front page. I checked the graph several times. An editor checked it. The graphic artists checked it. Manger still still got past us.

At least I didn't work at the newspaper that made this error:



Keep proofreading! We can't give up even if a mistake gets past us every now and then.

And let's not "shits to Boston."


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

53 comments:

  1. That's some typo! 😂 Proofreading seems to be a lost art, going by some of the poorly written crap we see online. At least newspapers are still making an effort, but of course, nobody is infallible.

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    1. We certainly made an effort at the newspapers where I worked.

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  2. Oy, the S-words.
    Typo is my middle name. Mysteriously, I catch others' rather well. Seems I need *someone else* to proofread for me.

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    1. If you can find the right proofreader, it can be a big help. That second pair of eyes will catch mistakes that slip past the writer.

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  3. I filled out an application the other day and spelled avenue wrong. I swear, I checked and double checked. Yet, it happened. But like they say in Boston, sh*t happens.

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    1. I don't spell many words wrong, but I quite often put the words in the wrong spaces on applications. That's kind of embarrassing.

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  4. I am woeful at proofreading my own work. I see what 'should' be there, rather than what is.
    There is a story (possibly untrue) that a newspaper once replace the a with an i in an openining sentence that said 'The Queen was the first to pass over the bridge'.

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    1. That's exactly what I mean by our brains automatically making corrections. If the story about the sentence is true, then I'd say that's worse than sh**s to Boston.

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    2. And rereading my comment I can see several spelling errors. Sorry.

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    3. I didn't even notice. My brain corrected everything on its own.

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  5. I KNOW! It's insane. I edited/reread ThunderTree 5 xs, 3 other people went over it and still one of those feisty little incorrect words snuck through. Luckily, a bud caught it and told me about it and I went in and changed it, but good grief. And I had a fellow author say that once she found a typo she wouldn't read anything by that author again.Good luck with that:)
    My catch word for the longest time was mall/maul. I text the kids I was going to the maul:) My daughter did a lot of ROTFL:)

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    1. I've read books by famous authors that are published by the big houses with the best editors, and the first edition still has errors. For years I always spelled fluorish wrong. I think I've gotten over that missteak.

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  6. I need to proof my comments, but seldom do. After tonight, I'm back on it.

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    1. I usually glance at my comments and don't see errors. If I return for a second visit, then I see the mistakes.

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  7. I don't think our local newspaper has a proofreader anymore; they rely on spellcheck, which is fine for spelling but not for homonyms (so we get faze/phase used wrong very frequently, etc.). You're right about the brain filling in the right spelling. It's kind of amazing when you think about it.

    That is some mistake in the photo!

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    1. Newspaper reporters and copy editors should know better than to rely on spellcheck, but with so many newspapers circling the drain, I suppose a lot of papers have cut back on staff.

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  8. Proofreading is for journalists and sissies! I think I proofread but I really don't and I am queen of the typos. I claim I have dyslexic fingers when I am basically a lazy ass blogger.

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    1. I don't have a problem with your posts. I enjoy them.

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  9. I guess I should be less critical when I find errors in books by famous authors and classic novels. I suppose no one is perfect.

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  10. It's true. I just found a typo in one of my books the other day - one I'd never noticed before.

    That ad's funny. But might it be real news? Maybe the series really did sh*t to Boston? Not sure what that would entail, but it'd really stink for Boston.

    Love ya.

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  11. That's so funny! I know I make a lot of mistakes and am glad for spellcheck. But when I use the voice thingie for texting--OMG! I have sent some hysterical texts. I should proofread those more--LOL! ;)

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    1. I never even try the voice thing because heaven only knows what it will think I've said.

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  12. I won't share a meme if it has a typo or bad grammar, no matter how funny or cute it is. I try my best to proofread my own stuff, but I make more and more little mistakes as I get older. If I mess up using the wrong there, their and they're or your and you're, well, that's just unforgivable. lol

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    1. I like to send someecards. I hope that's the correct name. I'm shocked by the number of those that have typos. I won't share anything with a typo, either.

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  13. Proofreading is like being a concert pianist -- no matter how brilliantly a piece is played, it's the one WRONG note that everyone will remember!

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    1. Oh, you'd better believe it. I'm a pianist so I know.

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  14. The newspaper where I first worked had a typo in an obit for a city leader.

    It said he Assed away yesterday....

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    1. That's a good one. Some people were probably pissed off, while others loved it.

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  15. Oh wow, that's some typo! Imagine all the "offended" people that are going to complain about that one.

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  16. I read my husband's most recent book five times. There were new typos after each revision. It was maddening. Also, I have found, sadly, that proofreading prowess dims over time, especially if one is no longer employed in the writing biz but is instead a lowly school teacher. I did reply to your email!

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    1. Thank you. I'll be sure to read your email, lowly school teacher.

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  17. The other day on Facebook, someone wrote shit instead of shot. A bunch of comments joking about it ensued. I pointed out that Facebook allows you to edit comments and posts once you've posted them, whereas Blogger will not let you fix your comments. She didn't fix it. They rarely do.

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    1. Maybe she enjoyed the jokes. I probably would.

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  18. Replies
    1. I think they're funny, too, as long as I'm not the one who made the mistake.

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  19. Too funny, Janie! I've become a lot less critical since I've been texting. And why is it that the word that slips by always seems to be an important one? I had a short story published in a literary journal, and the one word that slipped by was "dreary." The whole mood of my short story was an out-of-time "dreamy." It still frosts me! Have a good one!

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    1. I like that expression: it still frosts me. I don't think I've ever seen it before.

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  20. Too funny! Unfortunately, typos slip by, and I get that, but the newspaper (or book) errors that make me nuts involve the consistent misspelling of the same word or group of words within an article. Or a consistent grammatical error. I expect better.

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    1. The past tense of lead is led, yet I've started to see lead in place of led. That one gets to me. Also petted--the past tense of pet.

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  21. Document scanning is fraught with peril. A million years ago, I worked for a headhunting firm and we had to scan a resume. "Summa cum laude" came out as "Summa [very bad word for vagina] laude". Luckily, I caught it before we sent it on to the client.

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  22. Ha! Yes, I know all about not catching things. No matter how many times I look at something, something always slides through the cracks. Darn order-seeking brain!

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    1. I miss things. I know I do. I try so hard to catch everything.

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  23. I always worry about missing something. People can be merciless, when it comes to written works. And I now know that errors do show up, even if you had hundreds of people looking right at it.

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  24. Typos do agitate me, I admit it. The worst are on the dies of trucks, as in companies who paid to have that "skin" done with typos in them. I get so distracted when there are typos in books. I shall try to be more forgiving!

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    1. Some errors distract me more than others. Some get on my nerves. Some make me want to scream.

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