Proofreading can Benefit your Business
Proofreading should always be done by someone other than the author. Harper Lee once said: “People generally see what they look for.”
This is particularly true for an author of content who will usually read what they expect to read rather than what the document says.
Businesses generate many written documents throughout the day; emails, articles, reports, policies, applications, marketing material, etc. Whereas correspondence between colleagues is generally more informal, and spelling and grammatical errors would typically draw little to no attention, documents intended for a wider audience, including stakeholders, clients, and potential clients, should present as credible, professional, and error-free. For example, an internal memo may not require quite as much scrutiny as a proposal response to a Request for Tender.
Proofreading may be regarded as a pedantic attempt to find a missing comma, a dangling modifier, or a split infinitive; however, there are numerous benefits to having your high-stakes business documents reviewed by a professional, especially documents like tender proposals, marketing material, policies and procedures, and online content.
Proofreading is easy and can be done by Digital Writing Assistants, right? Wrong!
When proofreading, you are scanning the document for punctuation, grammar and spelling, capitalisation style, words used in the wrong context, etc. There are a number of digital writing assistants, like Writefull, Grammarly, 1Checker, and Ginger, that are very sophisticated and useful tools; however, they are not 100% accurate and should not be relied on to create publishable documents.
Consider the following poem,
‘Candidate for a Pullet Surprise’
by Mark Eckman and Jerrold H. Zar:
I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.
Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it’s weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.
A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when eye rime.
Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o’er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.
Bee fore a veiling checker’s
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we’re lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.
Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know fault’s with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.
Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word’s fare as hear.
To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw’s are knot aloud.
Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.
Although this is an extreme example, it does highlight how easy it would be for errors to slip through unnoticed.
Benefits of Proofreading:
Apart from spotting potentially embarrassing errors in your business documents, proofreading also:
- Provides objectivity – a detached overview of a document by someone other than the author will not only ensure that there are no obvious errors but that there is consistency in punctuation, capitalisation, departments, employee names, etc. These are all important considerations for ensuring the quality of your branding throughout essential documents;
- Provides assurance that the document is error-free and will be understood by the reader;
- Protects your business and your brand on a number of fronts. Proofreading will not only ensure branding consistency across your documents but can also protect your business’s credibility;
- Saves you money – picking up errors before documents, reports, menus, posters, catalogues, marketing material are printed could save your business a small fortune in having to reprint.
Proofreading can be an invaluable service to your business, helping you produce business material that is credible, professional, and error-free.