Another Set Of Eyes

eyesLast week was really “eye-opening” for me. As has turned into my usual style, I wrote a blog post late one night, proofread it, and set it up to be published the next morning. I know I have mentioned many times on this blog that it is easiest to draft something, walk away from it, and come back to proofread it. But that’s not what I did. I drafted, reviewed, and set it up to post–all in the span of a couple of hours with no break.

The next morning a good friend messaged me with an error she had found in the article. I fixed that on my cell phone and assumed all was good. And then another friend posted on my Facebook page link to the article for all the world to see that there were errors. I was devastated. But she was right. There were other errors–including a glaring one in the title that I think happened when I was using my phone to fix the first one. A day later she apologized profusely for posting that comment publicly and told me about the error she had seen.

Obviously, another set of eyes proofreading your work can be valuable. Or at least taking a break from it and coming back to proofread it can help. I know that, I preach that, and I ignored it. The result was sloppy work product, a damaged reputation (at least in my mind), and frustration. Was it worth it so that I could get an article about proofreading out by my self-imposed deadline? No way. Will I be more careful about drafting articles and going back to proofread them later? You bet. Can we all learn something from my mistake? Absolutely.

Proofreading is hard. It takes time, patience, and focus. You can’t do a good job of it if you are rushed or tired. So slow down, take breaks, work on something else, and come back to it with “fresh” eyes. If you can take a big break and come back to it, it will be easier because your brain isn’t lining up the words it read into the order it already thinks they belong. The work going out should be important enough to take the time to do it right.

Confusing Words Of The Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

  • lam – flight from the law (as in on the lam)
    • The number of people on the lam every week on Live PD is crazy!
  • lamb – a young sheep
    • The ewe at the zoo had a lamb with her when we visited.

Memory tips:

  • lam –  Running from the law so they don’t have time to add extra letters.
  • lamb – Think of the “b” as the first letter of “baby sheep.”

Grammar Giggle – What Kind of Potatoes?

I took this picture at a pop-up restaurant near my office. I realize this is a temporary sign, but it is still important that it is correct.

mined potatoes

Grammar Giggle – Our You Sure You Spelled Are Correctly?

My sister took this picture in her work elevator. I take comfort in the fact that someone else knew enough to correct the error. Too bad they didn’t have a red Proof That sharpie!

our

 

Confusing Words Of The Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

  • farther – at a greater distance, referring to actual distance
    • The drive from Joe’s house to mine was farther than I expected.
  • further – to a greater extent or degree, referring to figurative distance
    • We will plan to discuss the fundraiser further at the next board meeting.

Memory tips:

  • fArther – Actual distance
  • fURther – figURative distance

Grammar Giggle – No, Your Other Right

I actually took this picture near my office on the way to work last week. I was confused by where I was supposed to go.

Keep right

Grammar Giggle – Your Not Speaking My Language

A friend sent this one to me. This is the exact opposite of the error usually made with the you/you’re/your choices.

youre

Replay Thursday

Thursday-ReplayIt’s time for a review of recent blog posts just in case you’ve missed them. We call this Replay Thursday. Here are posts from Proof That proofreading blog during the past week.

Grammar Giggle – There’re

Grammar Giggle – Just One Quilt

Confusing Words Of The Week

Ask PTB – Including Trademark Symbol In Company Name

If you find a Grammar Giggle, take a picture and send it to me; if you have words that confuse you, send those; if you have a topic you’d like to see covered, send that; and if you have a burning question, Ask PTB. You can send all of that to me at proofthatblog@gmail.com or on the Ask PTB page at proofthatblog.com.

Ask PTB – Including Trademark Symbol In Company Name

TrademarkKandee asks “Hi Kathy, How would you transcribe a company name that has the trademark symbol at the end of the name? Do you include it? Not include it? Thanks!”

Thanks, Kandee, for the question. We have a client that uses the trademark symbol as part of their company name and we include it in the legal documents we prepare for them. We don’t include it in correspondence, but in pleadings and agreements, we do.

The Gregg Reference Manual indicates that holders of trademarks typically use the symbol (™ or ®) after their trademarks in all correspondence, promotional material, and product packaging. In material of a commercial nature that will be publicly distributed, use a raised symbol after each trademark. In other documents, symbols are not necessary. One way to be certain is to look on the company’s website and see how they treat it. I find that that information is typically at the bottom of the first page of the website under “company information” or a similar category.

However, a quick check of the United States Patent and Trademark Office website (uspto.gov) indicates that while you are not required to register a trademark or service mark, only those who do register it can use the “®” mark. Trademarks or service marks that are unregistered use the ™ and ℠ symbols.

In a Forbes article interviewing a trademark attorney, she indicates that use of the symbol is only necessary the first time the trademarked phrase appears in articles, press releases, promotional materials, etc., or with the most prominent placement of the mark. She says it is easy to overuse the mark and that takes away from the visual appeal of documents.

But we all know that legal writing is different. In my opinion, it is important to be consistent with the correct use of words, so I would personally use the symbol in each instance in legal documents. That way someone couldn’t come back later and question the status of the trademark or service mark because it isn’t used consistently.

I think the short answer is to use the symbol if the company uses it—and use it every time—in legal documents.

 

Confusing Words Of The Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

  • pray – to beseech
    • She went to pray for the rain to stop.
  • prey – a captured victim
    • The rattlesnake was stalking its prey.

Memory tips:

  • pray – Think of the “A” as the hands clasped in prayer prayer hands
  • prey – Think of the “E” as enemy, what the stalker is after.