Influence people

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why Proofreading Matters

Murphy's Law tyrannizes communicators.

That's why proofreading matters. 

Sadly, too many people in marketing communications don't care to proof their own, much less others', work.

But in my experience, the errors that most frequently escape detection are, in fact, consequential.  URLs.  Phone numbers.  Dates.  Locations.  Part numbers.  Prices.  People's names.

Careful proofing isn't "common sense."  It isn't even an art.  It's more like a science.  

If you're willing to pay a little for it, the best guidance I've ever found lies in The Chicago Manual of Style.  If you're not, UK marketing consultancy Clear Thought offers 10 tips for proofreading marketing content free on its blog.

As far as the Village of Crestwood goes, Webster's Dictionary defines the word xenophobia as "an irrational fear of foreigners or strangers."

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life."

4 comments:

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  2. Personally, I can't stand doing a spell check after writing something. I enjoy the proofreading aspect (somewhat), but spell check seems to be some sort of huge annoyance for me (don't ask why, as I'm sure it's utterly irrational, ha).

    However, I've found time and time again that to not proofread your piece at least three times, and spell check it at least twice, is not only dumb, but comes off as incredibly lazy. It's even better if another eye can look over the piece before it's published. They tend to help catch the little things you may have missed.

    Proofreading allows your picece to be *that* much better, and in the end, that can only be a positive.

    http://twitter.com/CristianIsDaMan

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  3. Cristian, you're 100% on the money. Last evening, I heard the communications manager for a Fortune 500 say it's okay to have errors in a corporate blog. "It's a blog!" But it's not okay to have errors in... what? The annual report? A letter to shareholders? Why are there double standards?

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