Almost all businesses use the written word to promote themselves and most people rely on their spellchecker … but that can be a big mistake!
See, spell checkers are okay, but they’re not infallible. Much of the language we use is based on context, so a spell checker will not know if you’ve used “compliment” when you meant “complement”. It won’t be able to tell that you’ve missed the “d” off the end of “and”, or that there’s a word missing from a sentence. And it will often throw up odd grammatical suggestions that will turn your paragraph into nonsense.
And you can’t guarantee that YOU will be able to spot your own mistakes either! It’s true – when you’ve thought of the words, researched the words, written the words and proofread the words, you will see what you expect to see, not what is actually on the page. Here are five tips to help you spot those annoying typos and errors in your writing:
1. Read the text out loud. This forces you to read every word on the page; it’s much easier to skip over things if you read in your head.
2. Don’t proofread a document as soon as you finish writing it. Take some time away so the words are not as fresh in your mind.
3. If you’re checking a string of numbers, check them backwards as well as forwards. Or get someone else to read them out while you check them.
4. Print out documents rather than proofreading on-screen – it’s much easier to spot errors on paper.
5. Use the dictionary! Don’t be ashamed to look up a word up if you’re not sure of its spelling.
However, my most important tip would be to get someone else to proofread for you. A second pair of eyes is essential to prevent you letting typos go out unchecked. If you don’t have anyone around, consider using a professional proofreader; my Pay As You Go Proofreading Service will help make your life typo free for a very small price!