Isn’t it crazy how our writing skills and spelling abilities are getting worse and worse. I know, if you’re anything like me, you’re actually writing more and more — facebook, twitter, blogs, articles, emails, etc. You would think we’d get better and better with our writing skills.
But it’s not the case. I guess because we “let things go” thinking that people will understand. I’m amazed at how many times I pick up business marketing materials and they have a typo.
There’s nothing worse for undermining your professionalism and expertise than a misspelled word. Here’s 3 locations where they often happen:
- Headlines – not sure why, but when we proofread something, we tend to overlook the headlines. Scary. Because they’re the “eye-interrupters” that everyone of your clients will read first.
- Capitalized Proper Names – we seem to skip over these too. If in doubt, look them up.
- Inverted words – When we type, somehow our sub-conscience allows our fingers to swap words — and then we swap them in our minds when we’re reading it over. Crazy!
So what’s a person to do? Over the years of proofing and working with proofreaders, I’ve developed a 3 Step Process to find typos:
- Read it again. Out loud is best. How many times do you finish writing something, and because you took so long working with the text, you don’t bother reading it all again! Be sure to start at the top and read it as though you’ve never read it before. Pretend that the recipient has just walked in and you’re “telling” them the material. I’m amazed at how many mistakes I find when I do this, but still we often skip this step to save time.
- Look at the words backward. After you’ve read the material forward, start at the end and work backwards through the words, this is the step that forces you to actually concentrate on word spellings. Try it! You’ll be amazed at the words you catch.
- Actually USE spell check. This sounds crazy, but people don’t use the built-in spell checker — and often they even overlook the underlined words in the paragraphs. Amazing!
As a business owner, you want to stand out. Make sure that typos aren’t the way you do this! Strive to be professional and accurate in everything you do!
P.S. I hope I don’t have any typos in this. If I do, please let me know!