Proofreading is not just a relevant subject for those who write but for people from all walks of life. Your ability to correct your written work can affect how people perceive you. If you apply for a job and your resume features a number of errors then people will make the assumption that a) either you cannot spell, b) you are careless with your written work or c) both.
First impressions count and sometimes the written word is the first time whether it’s a document, website or letter. If what you are writing is important then it is recommended that you read it out loud as your ear often picks up what the eye doesn’t see.
We can often rely too heavily on the spellchecker to correct our errors but unfortunately a spellchecker will not notify us if a word has been used incorrectly. Some of the more common errors found include:
- accept instead of except
- affect instead of effect
- than instead of then
- their instead of there
Incorrect use of an apostrophe can also cause many mistakes such as:
- its and it’s
- were and we’re
- who’s and whose
- your and you’re
Adding a simple “s” to the word can cause fear in the hearts of many. Just by understanding that when we make a word plural there is no need to add the apostrophe can certainly save us from making the same mistakes repeatedly.
Another issue is with that of names. A spellchecker will have no idea how Mathew or Allison is spelt and whether your chosen spelling is indeed the correct version. For this reason it is doubly important to pay close attention to names including that of street names and town names.
We all have words which when hurried we may spell incorrectly. Knowing what these are and training yourself to double check them prior to hitting the “Send” button, is half the battle.
Do you have one word you know you consistently spell incorrectly?
If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.