Does it bug you to see a glaring typo in an email, newsletter or any other correspondence? It does me. And you won’t believe the angst that I go through to stop myself telling my friends that it’s not “Your lovely” but it’s “You’re lovely”.
You’d be surprised how many people do take umbrage at an email, letter, blog post, tweet or text that contains some technical boo-boo. There are too many social media groups dedicated to this little life annoyance for it to be insignificant. But for some people – particularly those who don’t deal with words and punctuation every single day – these things are just not relevant. They should be.
Now, I don’t want to come across as one of those annoying and pathologically pedantic grammazons, but correct spelling and good grammar is essential for the reputation of your business.
“I’ll just use Spellcheck”, I hear you say. “I did GCSE English at school; I can proofread it myself. It’s just checking for spelling mistakes.” Or other variations on the theme.
Well, yes you can do it yourself. But here are two reasons why you shouldn’t.
- you are too close to your work, and your eyes will gloss over the mistakes because you have written them. It happens to us all. No, it’s not a matter of reading it several times, because no matter how many times you read it, you will miss tiny, distinct errors.
- The second reason is that a spellchecker is only as good as your knowledge of the English language. It will not pick up words that are spelt correctly even if it’s the wrong word so from/form, to/too/two or there/their/they’re.
A proofreader has been trained to read differently – they spot these errors every day.
When I proofread your work, not only will I check for spelling, grammar and punctuation but I’ll also check to ensure the formatting and layout is consistent. I will check the accuracy of page numbering, tables of content, headings, cross-references and illustrations/captions. I’ll check for capitalisation, abbreviations and hyphenation. Spellcheck won’t do that for you
You worked too long and hard to build up the reputation of your business, so don’t publish second-rate writing that’s swimming in errors. Doing so is likely to put many people off working with you. After all, if your writing is shoddy, isn’t it likely your product or service will be too? Substandard work reflects poorly on your business, and you only get one chance to create a good impression with each client. Create polished copy that is grammatically spotless, and it will reflect positively upon your business reputation.
Words are powerful tools. They can inform, inspire, educate and entertain. They can encourage your audience to take action, to buy your product or service. But not if your words are peppered with errors, because mistakes suggest carelessness. Get a proofreader on board and produce words that are worthy of attention.
If you need a proofreader, get in touch at lou@wordbirdy.
Image courtesy of Pixabay