It will come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog or my other blog that I’m no stickler for perfect grammar. I’m also a bad typist. I try to catch errors before I click Publish, but I still find flubs that make it through my proofreading. This is embarrassing, actually, because I proofread professionally and have even taught courses on the topic. (It also explains why I generally keep my blogs separate from my business. )
Throughout my internet travels, I’m amazed at how many websites have huge errors in their written text. I’m not talking about personal blogs or websites, but those that are obviously profit-driven and/or seeking advertisers or sponsors. And it’s not just websites. Every week, I receive advertisements or letters with errors, large and small. Clearly, the owners/bloggers don’t recognize the importance of proofreading.
Proofreading is critical for businesses because errors…
- Can be costly or harmful
- Can be embarrassing to you and/or the company
- Are simply unprofessional
Allow me to demonstrate:
“This contract shall be effective as of the singing of this agreement.”
“To Whom I May Concern:”
“We proudly feature some-day shipping.”
“Our massage treatments help relive your pain.”
These are real-life examples of errors spotted in printed materials or on websites. You can see how even a single letter or transposition can change the meaning of your message. You can also probably see customers turning away in a hurry.
I’ve actually seen the following error several times. What’s embarrassing about it is that the business owner didn’t even know the correct spelling of his line of business:
Here’s one I like to call, Judge Not:
That’s embarrassing for a whole host of reasons, only one of which is poor proofreading.
It’s not just small businesses that are guilty of poor proofreading. Here’s one that showed up repeatedly on TLC:
If the idea of all those tattoos hadn’t driven me off, seeing that egregious typos (one of my peeves) would have done the job.
Clearly, all of the business should have done a better job of proofreading. Or hired me.
Later this week, I’ll share some easy-peasy tips for more effective proofreading. I’m due for a review.
(Do you know how hard it is to press Publish on an article about proofreading? I reserve the right to correct any errors later.)