Proofreading is a little like building a 50-foot cement wall to keep out an invading army: Thousands of soldiers are repelled, and then a tiny ant crawls under the wall, bites you on the ankle and you’re out of commission.
In every document are annoyingly small traps looking to take you down if you’re not careful. Knowing grammar and punctuation inside and out, and putting a spell-checker through its paces, can only take you so far. Remember these tips when reading something one last time before giving it the thumbs-up:
1. Look for the elephant in the room. The big bold text in headlines has a way of slipping right past our consciousness—after all, how could anyone make an error in such a prominent space? Ask the people who misspelled “college” on a huge banner spread across a baseball team’s dugout during a nationally televised game in 2013.
2. Hyphens can be harsh. A word split in two by a hyphen and continued on the next ...(register to read more)