Thursday, February 11, 2010

Content over form

What is it about the striking of the Submit button or the opening of the first manual off the press that makes me an expert proof-reader?

The first sentence of an article proposal I recently sent to an editor: "I have contribute in the past to the ..." Subject-verb disagreement in the FIRST THREE WORDS!

The happy ending is that they accepted the proposal anyway. Sometimes the message outshouts the grammar--ain't that the truth!

1 comment:

Margaret said...

What makes anyone instantly a better proofreader after sending a message or printing what we've been working on is that we let our mind shift gears into a visual control mode.

When your hands are on the keyboard, your primary mental control is focused in getting the information out through your fingers. Only hunt-and-peck typists look at every letter they type. The rest of us are likely to get ahead of our fingers and occasionally skip or transpose letters.

That's why we should all heed the ubiquitous advice to take a break, or print that important e-mail or document before we send it, so that we can look at it with "fresh eyes" and catch those embarrassing typos that make us look foolish or sloppy.