Does Anyone Care About Proofreading Anymore?

Ask the good people of the South Bend, IN Public School System if they care.

I posed this question last night in a tweet after reading yet another blog post on a major site with more than one typo. I can’t remember the last time I went through my Google Reader and didn’t see some type of writing blunder – whether it be a grammatical error or a spelling error. But before I get too far into my rant, let me lay down some ground rules.

1. I am NOT talking about Facebook or Twitter or other social media. I understand things are fired off quickly on these mediums and often on smartphones that don’t make typing very easy. And don’t get me started on auto-corrections. Tweets get even more of a pass due to the character limit. If you are using your social media accounts for professional purposes then obviously, you want to to keep any errors to a minimum, but in that type of setting, it’s not as big of a deal.

2. I am also NOT talking about comment sections of blog posts. Again comments are written hastily, and like on social media, usually by people who don’t try to write for a living.

3. I am NOT talking about personal blogs. It’s your blog. Write however you want.

4. I am NOT talking about writing style. I have a very casual writing style and you will see words like “wanna” or sentence fragments. I will end a sentence with a preposition or start one with the word “and.” The difference is these are not mistakes. My intent is to convey a conversational type style.

5. I have no formal training as a writer or proofreader, although I have done both in a professional capacity. But, I am NOT talking about the finer complexities of the English language. These are typos that most 6th graders could spot.

Now, time to rant…

I realize people aren’t perfect and mistakes happen. If you read through all of my posts you could probably find a typo here or there. But when the first sentence of a post has a typo, then that isn’t just a mistake – it’s just plain laziness. It does not take that much time to re-read your post. Even if you have a strict deadline, you can publish, proofread and then make any edits to the post.

For example, this post on ESPN has been up since January 27.  Can you spot the error?

The VERY FIRST WORD is wrong. It should be, “Thanks to a recent article…” And this isn’t some techie who has been forced to write a blog with no background in English. This was written by a journalist! At a major organization! Even if Mr. Low is too busy, surely someone on staff can proof these things?

This is also a great example of why just using spell check is not good enough. Spell checkers won’t catch missing words or if it’s the wrong word spelled correctly. You have to proofread for these type errors. Or have someone do it for you.

I know after spending so much time writing something, it all becomes a blur and you read what you meant to write instead of what you actually wrote. Having “fresh eyes” look over it will help. Heck, for only $5, I will read an average length blog post for you and let you know if I see any errors. I care that much.

But this goes back to my original question: Does anyone else care about writing errors anymore or is society in general slowly becoming desensitized to them?

“Oh, so they made a mistake.”

“You know what they meant. Quit being so picky.”

“Who are you? The grammar police?”

You see these type responses (or worse) when someone tries to point out a mistake.

So, why do I care and why does it make me so crazy? It screams “unprofessional.” Your credibility goes down in my eyes especially if you purport to be a professional writer. It’s also insulting at its most flagrant levels – I’m talking one error after the other. It says, “I didn’t take the time to read through my own post, but I expect you to. Please ignore my laziness, but love all my great content.”

Friday, I will be publishing a follow-up post with tips on proofreading for those of you who are with me in this fight.

But I am also interested in what all of you think. Do you dismiss these errors as human nature and then don’t think anything else about it? Should I just get over it? Or do you seethe every time you see a glaring mistake?

Thanks for reading,

P.S. I realize I have drawn a bullseye on my back, so feel free to dissect my writing or let me know all the mistakes I have made in the comment section.

Have a topic you would like me to blog about? Recommendations? Think this post was great or awful or just so-so? Let me know in the comments section!

7 Responses to “Does Anyone Care About Proofreading Anymore?”

  1. ginette isenberg says on :

    I’m with you Kristina! I find it maddening too. I look forward to your tips.

  2. Kris says on :

    Thanks, Ginnette!

  3. Leisa Johnson says on :

    Typos and incorrect grammar drive me crazy! It is as if no one cares, including journalists. When I write something, I not only read it forward, but backward(literally) and have someone else read it before it becomes permanent.

  4. Kris says on :

    Interesting, Leisa. I will have to try reading it backwards. I’m assuming you mean read each sentence in reverse order, right? I could see how that would give you a fresh approach to something you had looked at a million times.

  5. Kristina » Blog Archive » Tips for Proofreading says on :

    [...] my rant on the lack of proofreading in today’s world, I promised to offer some tips on how to proofread. So here a just few ways to proof your blog [...]

  6. Scott says on :

    With your sentence “Having ‘fresh eyes’ look over it will help.”, were you trying to say: “Having ‘fresh eyes’, look over it again; it will help.”?

  7. Kris says on :

    Scott, I was saying having someone with fresh eyes look over what you have written will help.