Some people hunt animals, some people hunt ghosts. Me? I hunt typos. Picking typos out of a published book, newsletter or sales page is something I’ve always loved doing. It’s a twisted little habit I just can’t seem to shake. This of course, is a good occupational hazard to have in my line of work and I’m sure comes as a relief to some of my clients. I do feel bad however, for those people who are consistently putting out work that has not been properly proofread for these types of errors.

Several times per week I browse newsletters and sales pages from some of my favorite “experts” only to find their work sprinkled with not just one but many typos! It astounds me each time I discover another one because quite honestly in my opinion it really tarnishes their “expert” status in my eyes. Now don’t get me wrong, accidents happen. We all make mistakes. It’s human nature. But it’s important to learn from those mistakes. No one is going to take you seriously if you consistently put out work that tells the world you were not the winner of the 8th grade spelling bee!

My question is, are people not pointing these mistakes out to the author? Isn’t there an assistant somewhere whose job it is to make sure something is letter perfect before it goes out to the public? I make it a point when finding an error to let the author know. I’ve never once gotten a response that was negative. In fact, most people appreciate when I point out the errors.

Am I a perfect speller? Not at all. (Although speaking of the 8th grade spelling bee, I was a runner up thank you very much.) I do enjoy however, reading with a critical eye and picking these proverbial needles out of their grammatical haystacks and offer proofreading as one of my services to satisfy my proofreading fixes.

Spell Check Is NOT Your Friend!

I know so many people who rely on spell check in their word processing program to edit their documents for them. Please don’t rely solely on a computer to check your work. Spell check is great in some cases but it does not pick out every error. If two words are very similar in spelling or meaning, it might very well ignore the error. I’ve seen it happen before. If you insist on using spell check, please have a second pair of eyes read the document before it is published. Give it to an assistant, a trusted friend or a colleague for review before putting it out into the world.

When people read your words and get your message without having to back track over spelling errors your credibility remains intact and your audience will thank you for it by purchasing your product.

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