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Proofreading Tips

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Ok so I ran into an issue the other day and looking for help or your suggestions. What are your processes to proofreading your work in all aspects, typos and everything else. Is it just me but after working on a project for weeks my eyes seem to be so used to the content there that I missed a typo and had to re-dub my spot.

 

Anyone else had these nightmares and what's some tips on proofing your work.

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Ok so I ran into an issue the other day and looking for help or your suggestions. What are your processes to proofreading your work in all aspects, typos and everything else. Is it just me but after working on a project for weeks my eyes seem to be so used to the content there that I missed a typo and had to re-dub my spot.

 

Anyone else had these nightmares and what's some tips on proofing your work.

 

If it's long copy read it backwards .. it forces you to look at each word individually which helps to catch simple typos.

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Make sure your client takes responsibility for proofreading - it is their content after all, and they probably have editors who get paid to check that stuff. If they sign stuff off without spotting an error, then it is not your fault (IMHO).

 

Having said that, the editors are usually idiots, and more often than not I end up pointing out discrepancies between VO and onscreen text and asking whether they really mean what they are saying.

Edited by basilisk

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We always have someone in our office who's not associated with the project do a layer of proofreading. Otherwise the "forest for the trees" thing applies, and nobody who's been up to their elbows in the project for weeks will be able to catch the typos.

 

I have this disorder where I can glance at a page of text for an instant and the typos jump out at me. It's not like Rain Man or anything, but it's a little uncanny. Of course, it is totally non-functional when proofing my own work.

 

Cf

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Make sure your client takes responsibility for proofreading - it is their content after all, and they probably have editors who get paid to check that stuff. If they sign stuff off without spotting an error, then it is not your fault (IMHO).

 

Sounds great, but doesn't work. I work for a small marketing firm that does primarily web/interactive work, and even though many times a client has written the content that goes up we still get blamed for not proofing.

 

The suggestion of having people totally detached from the project proof it is a good one.

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Guest Sao_Bento
Sounds great, but doesn't work. I work for a small marketing firm that does primarily web/interactive work, and even though many times a client has written the content that goes up we still get blamed for not proofing.

 

The suggestion of having people totally detached from the project proof it is a good one.

Yeah, in the end, you're the one who's outputting the final project, so if it looks bad, you look bad. Telling the client that it's their fault won't help much.

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QC is just as much a part of the process as storyboarding and concepting. If your producer or account manager (even if thats you:) isn't building it into the quote, they should.

 

c

 

PS... it has happened to everybody, I once saw a 30K print run get thrown out because of a single "s".

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One of my past-lives was proofreading. Here are a few tips:

 

Print out the page. It looks different printed. The visual change from screen to page is usually enough to make you spot things you wouldn't otherwise.

 

Use the basic proofreading symbols, like the insert carat, the proper crossout (with the tail), the double-underline for letter capitalization, the word-swap wave thingie. That's really easy to get. Everyone uses them, from presidents to PR flacks--it's not asking too much.

 

On each line where there's a change to the text, make a hash mark in the margins. This really helps when you're putting in the changes. Proofing is one thing, actually correcting the copy is another.

 

Proof it after the changes have been input. Something's usually been missed.

 

Get the Chicago Manual of Style and keep it handy.

 

Use a terminal comma in a list. Like this, that, and the other thing. Or don't. Like this, that and the other thing. No matter how you do it, someone will want it the other way. I do without because of an old United Press newswriter I worked with who taught me a few things.

 

Proofing and editing are two different things. You can proof bad copy to perfection, and it'll still be bad copy.

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Get the Chicago Manual of Style and keep it handy.

- UK English speakers can try the Oxford Style Manual

Use a terminal comma in a list. Like this, that, and the other thing. Or don't. Like this, that and the other thing. No matter how you do it, someone will want it the other way. I do without because of an old United Press newswriter I worked with who taught me a few things.
- Most UK editors do without; here it is known as the "Oxford comma" and is used by Oxford educated editors to signify superiority.
Proofing and editing are two different things. You can proof bad copy to perfection, and it'll still be bad copy.

Do not use contractions like "it'll" unless transcribing dialogue.

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am I the only one thats had this happen on a professional level?

 

I actually spelled Hallmark - "Halmark" once, and it went to air. Not one single person caught it. Well..that's not true, a guy in master control caught it, and it wasn't even his job.

 

Many thought I had done it on purpose...but it really was just a dumb mistake. Stupid Agency Black Extended

Edited by Firebetty

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