The fine art of proof reading

It’s something we all have to do: proof read our copy. And judging by the errors littering their brochures and web pages, some companies need better systems in place. Computer based spellchecking and grammar correction has made many of us a little lazy. So here are a few tips which I’d suggest will ensure your marketing material doesn’t contain jarring errors that make your company look foolish.

Firstly, proof read the copy in two different formats, such as on screen and printed out in a different typeface. Many errors are overlooked because they fall on the page in a place which tricks the brain. Reading the copy in two different formats should overcome this. (If you can, leave some time between the writing and the proof reading too.)

Secondly, read the copy out loud, or better still, have someone else read it out loud to you. Prose which is awkward to read often surfaces this way.

Finally, ensure that somebody else reads the copy. We all have spelling and grammar weak spots. I’m always impressed by companies that don’t allow anything to go to a printer without a signed-off form attached …requiring two signatures.

Discussion

  1. Andrew Bartlett

    I thought I might be old fashioned in printing things out to check them. But it is amazing how many glaring errors you can find in something that looks perfect on screen. There is probably a phd thesis to do on why this is.

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