Proofreaders check every word for potential errors.
In 2006, The Sun newspaper reported that a man named Martin Nolan had had a prayer tattooed onto his back in tribute to his mother and was horrified to be told by a friend that 2 spelling mistakes had been indelibly written on his back. The tattooist had written ‘strenght’ instead of ‘strength’ and ‘nisdom’ in the place of ‘wisdom’.
Proofreaders check text for sense.
Take the example of the Star-Telegram of Fort Worth, Texas in USA who reported in 2006 that a man fell 15 feet from a 6-foot ladder.
You want to give the best impression.
The last thing you need is to create a beautiful brochure, have hundreds of copies printed, only to find a silly mistake jumping out of the page at you. Mistakes can be very costly…
As reported on 12th October 2006, on Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSBNC TV in the USA and also on their website, a typing error cost the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office in Michigan $40,000. Ballots had to be reprinted due to the omission of the letter l in the word ‘public’.
It is very difficult to proofread your own work.
You don’t always spot mistakes, especially if you have read it over several times.
According to a survey of 266 recruitment companies by Recruitment and Employment Federation in December 2006, half of all CVs submitted by applicants contained spelling and grammatical errors. The worst offenders were those aged between 21 and 25. Of those polled, 7 out of 10 revealed that men are more likely to make mistakes than women and that one of the most common mistakes is misspelling ‘curriculum vitae’.
Computer spell checkers only correct obvious mistakes.
They will not correct a sentence for sense –in fact they may make the problem worse, because if you have typed a word that does exist, but it isn’t the one you want, the spellchecker will not correct it.
For example, if you had meant to write: Mr Baker was sad but had made an error and in fact typed: Mr Baker was mad, the spell check function would not correct this.
Proofreaders correct texts for:
Consistency (e.g. where two different spellings of a word have been used)
Differences between an amended (copy edited) document and the original
If your document needs major rewriting; formatting and checking of tables, illustrations and/or facts, it needs copy editing.
R2 Proofreading, 9 Old Farm Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 1QN.