My Inner Editor Comes Out

By Cindy on April 28, 2010

Okay, straight up. This is a rant.

In today’s world where spell check and grammar check are readily available in word processing software, I can’t seem to forgive incorrectly spelled words. Yes, I do realize if you are creating something in Publisher, Indesign or a similar program, checking your spelling might not be as easy as one or two clicks of a mouse. But come on people!

Read what you are writing and creating.

As a broad sweeping statement, we all have a high school degree. And a pretty high percentage of us have college degrees or at least some college courses under our belts. We should know how to spell. The advent of the computer has just made it easier for us to check our spelling.

It has made us lazy.

One of the problems with spell check is it normally won’t catch a correctly spelled word (think your instead of you’re) until you run a grammar check.  And even then, it might not catch it.

So you have to kick it old school.

Read what you write and create with a critical eye. As I was ranting about this yesterday, someone near me advised reading documents backwards so errors can be caught. Harder to do, yes. But it will help to see what is actually on the page rather than see what you want to see or expect to see.

Have you received the email that has most of the text in incorrectly spelled words?  Quite a few words have vowels left out or have letters transposed. Our mind still reads it correctly because it sees what it expects to see. Sort of a controlled reader effect.  (Remember controlled reader from elementary school?)

If you aren’t great at proofing your own work, email it to two or three friends and have them look at it. You’ll be amazed at what they will catch.

But for goodness sakes, check your spelling as well as your grammar.

Nothing brings out my inner school marm editor than receiving correspondence from a business that is chocked-full of errors. Makes me bring out the red pen and start marking away……

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