When I tell people I’m a proofreader, I worry that they’ll immediately have me down as a picky, smug pedant. I often see social media posts ridiculing someone else’s mistakes, and it bothers me that some people think this is OK. Along with thousands of other editorial professionals, I am a polite proofreader. I am committed to sharing this tiny aspect of kindness in the hope that it will spread, so here are my five golden rules for polite proofreading in everyday life. Please join me on this crusade.
Even the most careful writers miss problems with their own work. We become ‘blind’ to what we have written and read what we meant to write, rather than what we actually wrote. Don’t worry – it happens to us all! If you can’t hire a professional proofreader and you don’t have anyone else to read through your text, there are still plenty of things you can do to help yourself when proofreading your own work.