Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fix Those Typos!

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A well-proofread piece of text is not a sign of moral superiority. But most readers will judge a piece of text by the number (and egregiousness) of the typos. This is especially true of those readers with a well-developed English-teacher persona and a timid poet. So if you’re writing for a well-educated readership, fix those typos!

With blog posts, the writer can get away with some informality and a higher level of typos than would be acceptable in print. There is a certain (dare I say) disposable quality to text on the web.

Print is a different matter and especially printed books. The presence of typos doesn’t prove anything conclusive about the value of the story or ideas expressed in the text. But a book with typos screams: “Someone wasn’t paying attention!” Or more often, several someones weren’t paying attention! The reader is going to wonder: does that lack of attention extend to the way the story or ideas are developed? Typos undermine the book’s authority and the author’s credibility.

So what’s the key to good editing and proofreading? How much of the editing and proofreading can an author do for themselves? These are questions I’ll explore in future posts.

If you can spot the deliberate error in this blog post, award yourself a pat on the back!

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