Today is #NationalProofreadingDay!
We dig this day because as communications professionals, proofreading is essential to our work. And yours. While there are certainly times when it’s ok to let a typo or poor grammar slide—for example, a text message to your best friend—you probably wouldn’t want to confuse there, they’re and their in a text to your boss, your biggest client, or in an email to a prominent journalist.
But we’re humans with chubby thumbs and Autocorrect is out to get us.
That’s why, on this special day, we thought we’d share with you some of our tips for proofing your work before you hit send.
- Use Grammarly. Like all machine proofing—it’s not always perfect, but it does catch a lot. We use the pro version, but the free version addresses quite a bit. We’re still waiting for them to make an MS Office app that’s compatible with Apple (seriously come on), but they did recently release a keyboard app for your mobile device.
- Read it out loud or let your device read it to you. Tucked away under Accessibility Settings in most devices is the ability to have your device read your screen. This is used most by visually impaired people, but publicists and people looking to catch grammar mistakes can use it to have their emails read back to them before they hit send.
- Read from the bottom up. It’s super easy to miss things when you’re proofing because your brain naturally fills in the the missing pieces. That’s why reading sentence-by-sentence from the bottom helps because it helps you take each line separately, out-of-context and you’re unable to jump ahead. (Did you catch the error in this?)
- When it’s really important, have a friend or professional proofreader check it over.