The Impotence of Proofreading

No matter how skilled you are at writing, there is always the need to proofread your work. Before we send anything out from CQHQ (Creative Quills Head Quarters), it is shared between our team to correct any typos, cross-reference punctuation and ensure the overall readability is up to scratch.

If you want to be taken seriously as a business, every piece of content under your name needs to be faultless. If a client opens an email that is filled with spelling errors, uncapitalised letters at the start of sentences, or is addressed to the wrong person, then they are being sent the wrong message. You’re telling them that you don’t care about your content. They might even disregard it as spam.

 

What’s wrong with being wrong?

Consider the following tagline on a poster advertising an educational game:

“So Fun, They Won’t Even Know Their Learning!”

What does it say about the game? An educational game.

Most people will rely on spellcheck to cover their backs, but basic programmes won’t pick up on these sorts of inaccuracies. There is no fuzzy line on my computer screen when I type out that erroneous tagline.

Similarly, spellcheck will often accept homophones, which can lead to misunderstanding of the text. Take, for example, complements v. compliments. Both perfect spelling, yet if:

The merlot perfectly compliments the steak’, your reader might imagine their vintage bottle of red waxing lyrical about the delicious rump to its right.

The reader may know what you mean but it’s distracting. It disrupts the flow of the text, interrupts the line of reading and undermines the point you’re trying to make.

Every piece of content a business shares adds to the consumer’s impression of them. If a company is happy to associate themselves with a flawed piece of writing, it implies they don’t care about the basics.

Righting your writing

Proofreading is the final stage of writing. It’s the time to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’, giving quality content a big shiny ribbon. The succulent cherry on top of an impossibly inviting cake.

Does the message come across clearly, or do you have to work to understand? Is there a point to each paragraph, and does one flow seamlessly into the next? Do my eyes trip over any sentences, or does the structure allow for pace and rhythm? These are questions that need to be answered during the proofreading stage.

Carefully checking your content makes it is ready to represent your business. Customers are more likely to trust writing that is presented well because it offers a sense of legitimacy. It strengthens the idea that you’re professional and meticulous about all aspects of your business.

Is your message consistently clear? If not, then we can help you to present a professional image and prevent your ‘they’re becomingtheir’.

Written by: Nancy Wilkinson