Why proofreading matters

Did you ever read a piece of text that makes absolutely no sense and wonder what the hell the writer was thinking?

Well, chances are that he/she didn’t read back over what they had written before publishing/submitting it.

It couldn’t be simpler – read what you have written. Then read it again – just to be sure!

If it doesn’t make sense to you, how can you expect your reader to understand what you’re trying to say.

To illustrate this point, here are a few examples from local/community notes where minor errors of spelling and punctuation completely change the meaning of the text – sometimes to hilarious effect. In all these cases, if the writers had just read over what they had written, they would have spotted and been able to correct the mistake.

On completion, there will be a real party atmosphere with barbecue foot and entertainment with a raffle for loads of prizes

The death of XX occurred at XXX. After a short illness at the advanced aged of 96 years, she was a quiet, gentle and unassuming lady and had a welcome reception for all who crossed her threshold. 

And finally, an example of someone who didn’t obey the ‘Keep It Simple’ rule or, for that matter, the rule about avoiding clichés:

With time running out XX  leapt like a salmon smashing a header off the crossbar from a corner in the 93rd minute and from the resulting break XX bundled the ball over the line, winning the match with the last kick of the game.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing for a newspaper, magazine, online publication or just sending an email, learn to become your own proofreader. Remember, your words are precious – be proud of them.


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