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Your worst proofreader is…

YOU! It has been proven that for your own written words, you are your own worst proofreader.

Think about it – you know what you’ve written; you know what you mean to say; you know how it’s supposed to look. Therefore, you’re going to see what’s supposed to be there, which in some cases is not exactly what IS there.

Websites, letters, menus, brochures, documents of all kinds, novels and even the occasional print advertisement often contain at least one misspelled or misused word. If it’s not a spelling error or a typo of some sort, it’s an extra or missing word. We’ve all seen and laughed at the ad and headline bloopers that are occasionally compiled for our entertainment.

When reading other people’s writings, my eye is quick to pick up things many others miss. Even the extra space between words that so often creeps into writing just about screams at me to be deleted. It’s a gift and a curse at the same time. My husband will sometimes ask me to read a letter or document for content, and the first things I see are the typos and misspellings. I have to read it a second time to see what it’s actually saying.

However I often find errors in my own writing, after the fact of course. Often the errors I find are things I cannot believe actually got by me, but as I said earlier, I knew what it was supposed to look like so that’s what I saw when I read it over.

The lesson here is when you’re writing something for publication it’s an excellent idea to get another set of eyes on whatever it is. Proofreading is a skill. Some are better at it than others, but someone else is always better than we are for our own work.