When is proofreading not important?

Meredith Thatcher | September 27, 2017

Yes, you read that heading right. You might think that Write is filled with grammar nerds willing to comment on every error we spot. And that we’ll use lots of red pen — just to prove a proofreading point.

It is true that most of us at Write will spot a typo on a menu or sign in a shop window at one glance. But inhabiting the print world rather than the real world doesn’t win you any friends. And no-one wins a gold star for pointing out the obvious to a business owner.

Image, Remember, every time you make a typo, the errorists win.

Errorists win when you make a typo. Image by Brett Jordan / CC 2.0

Instead, we’re a pragmatic bunch. We understand language is constantly changing.

We understand that people are crunched for time — and that this has led to a crunching of the work and the people to do that work. As executive editor Pam Sanders notes:

At most newspapers, where readers increasingly are moving to the web for their news and dropping their print subscriptions, the first positions to be eliminated have been those devoted completely to proofreading. A decade ago, every local story was read at least four times — by the reporter, the content editor, the copy editor and the slot editor. Now, it’s read by the reporter and one editor before being pushed to the web.

Sometimes proofreading doesn’t make the final cut

We understand that messages are increasingly time-sensitive. A business that gets its news out first promotes its business. It beats the competition by attracting customers early. Sometimes proofreading doesn’t make the final cut.

That’s one reason why we work with business owners early. We drive the proofreading ambulance at the top of the cliff, not at the bottom. We offer tips to ensure that proofreading is more than an afterthought, rushed at the end of a project. Time spent proofreading may mean less time, money, and effort spent:

So, do you do your best proofreading after you hit send? Or do you prefer to do it before?

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