Sunday, April 1, 2012

Little Old Proofreader Me

Anyone who's known me for any length of time has probably heard me comment on complain about the errors I find in books and newspapers. I'm more forgiving of the newspapers because they do need to do things quickly. Still, journalists should know better than to use the wrong form of a word such as to instead of too, or my personal favorite, peak instead of peek or pique. Too many errors in books just plain irritate me. Typos are bad enough, but when the characters are mixed up and nobody notices, that is just uncalled for. Don't publishers employ proofreaders any more? For some things, the grammar and spell checkers in word processing programs just don't quite cut it.

Now I've gotten my very own chance at proofreading something other than my own writing....a friend's masters thesis. I don't know anything about the subject, but I can spell, punctuate, find repetitions and sense when something is off with the timeline... or at least I hope so. :) One thing I'm learning is that it is much slower going when actually looking for errors than it is when just reading along and stumbling on them.

New experiences are good, right?


  1. Yes, mistakes just jump out at me, and last week I mentioned one to a DOC person who had a huge poster that would be put on a notice board.Luckily it was a trial one.Afterwards I thought maybe I should have kept quiet (Hugh would say none of your business ,let them sort it themselves)but grammar errors in publications should not happen.I have a friend who did a proof reading dilpoma,and it was not easy.And I do not always check my comments!!!Hope the words jump out at you too. Cheers from Jean.

  2. I believe I read someplace that proof readers are hired in countries where the people don't speak English as a first language. The books are published in those countries too. It would account for the reason so many errors are not caught before publication.

  3. My mother was a proof reader for a publishing company when she was right out of college. It always scared me to write to her because it might come back with red pencil marks on it! In a way I still am a little scared of what I'm writing on my blog... "Tanya, and you call yourself an English teacher!" Go lightly on me when you find mistakes!