Why You Should Use A Proofreader

Photo by volkspider

“Your Our Main Focus”
“There Going Fast”
“This is the most affective change.”
“He waited on tender hooks.”

All of the above are grammar mistakes I have seen in the last few weeks on either business websites or in published documents.

Why Poor Grammar Matters

What you might not realize is that in every case, customers walked away. People want to believe that the businesses they are receiving services from know more than they do…otherwise what is the point of hiring someone? And even though grammar may not be for what the person is looking, poor grammar leads people to believe that the grammar skills are on par with the businesses specialized knowledge.

English Is Difficult

I get it. English is hard. All the exceptions and usage rules are difficult to retain.

It doesn’t help that when we talk we use a much more informal language and homophones are hard to distinguish.

But written grammar matters to your customers. Don’t drive them away.

How To Fix Poor Grammar

The first line of defense is to run all of your text through a spelling and grammar checker. Even if the program you use to write copy doesn’t have a built-in checker, copy it into a word processor or a website like Grammarly.com.

The second thing you should do is ask someone to proofread your copy. It is generally better to get another person to look at the text to get some distance for the words. When we write, it is easy to skip over the mistakes because we know what we are trying to say. If absolutely necessary, you can proof your own copy…but only after you have been away from it for at least 24 hours. Note that this only works if the person doing the proof reading has a good sense of grammar.

The best line of defense is to hire a proofreader. Proofreaders work by the word count, and can do small jobs quickly. For things like an ebook a proofreader will catch not only the basic grammar mistakes, but also word misusage.

Corrected Grammar

Just to not leave you hanging, here are the corrections to the examples above.

“Your Our Main Focus” should be “You’re Our Main Focus”
“There Going Fast” should be “They’re Going Fast”
“This is the most affective change.” should be “This a the most effective change.”
“He waited on tender hooks.” should be “He waited on tenterhooks.”

Don’t know where to get started? I do proof reading and copy editing. See here for details.

Photo by volkspider. Licensed under Creative Commons.