The Office Ninja’s Sword: Proofreading

Proofreading MarksYes, proofreading is important even for office ninjas like me.  Case in point,  in my rush to email an announcement, I neglected to properly proofread the text. Unfortunately, unlike blog posts and web pages, once you send an email with Constant Contact, there’s no going back.

If you noticed the error and didn’t mention it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  If you didn’t notice the error, then move along-there’s nothing to see here, folks.

I do strive for Excellence.  Riggins Construction & Management, Inc. has a long-standing reputation for excellence both in the field and out and it’s important to me to continue to reinforce that through our social media efforts.  So you can imagine that I was disappointed to discover I had made the error.

How to recover from a proofreading disaster:

  1. Correct the mistake if you can.
  2. Breathe.
  3. Apologize.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Cry.
  6. Call your mom.
  7. Get advice from your peers.
  8. Realize you are human and, therefore, fallible.
  9. Recognize your weaknesses (repeated mistakes like homophones) and put them on a sticky note next to your computer (in eyeshot) in an attempt to avoid future errors.
  10. Write a blog post about it.

Cyndi Ricca from @AZDuraWrap suggested I email everyone saying:

If you caught the typo “check check” in our newsletter, you’ll see why I didn’t make it into the 2012 Draft Pick.

All humor (and humility) aside, here are some of the tips I (normally) use when proofreading:

  1. Read the post backward.
  2. Read the text out loud. Yep. You sound crazy. But you’ll hear a mistake you missed. You can even read the post backward and out loud.
  3. Print it out and do Steps 1 and 2.
  4. Formatting can be a distraction. This is the case with brochures, websites, and fancy emails. Often, I compose in a plain text file then paste the final version into the appropriate document.
  5. Wait for 24 hours to publish/post/send.  It’s a great trick I learned from Copyblogger.  Often it’s a luxury, but if you have the time, I suggest it.
  6. Get another set of eyes to read your post. Someone who will notice detail and feel free to point errors out to you is an ideal candidate.
  7. Improve your skills.  Buy a Secretarial Handbook.

So if you received the infamous email, you now have a collector’s item.

Bonus:

  • Here is a pdf of my proofreading of this post.

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3 thoughts on “The Office Ninja’s Sword: Proofreading

  1. I feel nervy when I send a blast out – hoping that I didn’t miss anything after checking it multiple times so I know how that was like!

    For sure, many of US will benefit from YOUR error. :D. Thanks for the tips.

    Like

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