September 3rd marked the 10th anniversary of Proof That blog. It is sometimes hard to believe that there is enough new material to keep it going for ten years, but then it is really not that hard to believe. It’s also hard to believe there are people who are interested in proofreading and learning about common errors all these years later, so thank you for being one of them. I do appreciate every reader.
While we’re talking about anniversaries, here are some quick tips:
The anniversary of the day you were married is your “wedding anniversary,” NOT your “marriage anniversary.”
It is redundant to say “10th-year anniversary.” Saying “10th anniversary” is much clearer.
I encourage you all to go out and celebrate by correcting ten errors in someone’s writing today.
This Grammar Giggle is notice that sometimes I screw things up too. One of the Proof That Blog readers commented that there was an error in my last Grammar Giggle–Can We Bring Our Tobacco/E-Cigs and Pets or Not?–because I made a mistake in this comment:
The reader was correct. It should have been “none of those things ARE allowed.” I had even done a blog post on that very topic here and should know better, but it simply proves that I am human and do make mistakes. If you haven’t read that article, please click on the link because it goes into more detail. In a nutshell, because we were talking about a list of things, you could replace it with “not any of those things is allowed,” so it should be “none of those things are allowed.” If it was just talking about one thing, for instance, if it had said just “no purses allowed” and you could say “not one purse is allowed,” it would be “none is allowed.” This is confusing and can be difficult to figure out.
So thank you, Proof That Blog readers, for actually reading this blog and for letting me know when I’ve made a mistake so I can correct it.
This was in our local newspaper for our Hometown 4th of July Celebration. This is a great example of how important proofreading for content is. It isn’t always misspellings or misplaced commas that draw the wrong kind of attention to your writing, but unclear writing will do it too. In this example, they use the word “no” twice with things not to bring, but they don’t use it for the last two things. Does that mean that we CAN bring tobacco/e-cigs or pets? I’m pretty sure they meant to say that none of those things are allowed, but that’s not the way it came out. It would have been more clear to remove the second “no” and have the first one apply to everything on that line but it would have been even better to use the word “no” in front of each of those.
A friend who was looking for a new house recently sent this one to me. There are so many problems with this, but I wanted to point out the most egregious. In addition to the random capitalizations, random word separation, words that would pass spell check but are not the right word, and using numbers instead of letters, the correct word for the circled word below should be “immaculate.”
A local judge shared this Twitter post from a Florida judge. This perfectly illustrates a couple of points that I feel are most important in our jobs. First, proofreading is really important–spell check would not have caught this error. Second, taking the time to look at your work product is well worth it. Take the time! Third, this is a really good example of the usefulness of a master caption file for every case–that is proofread multiple times–that contains information that attorneys don’t typically review like the case name, court name, attorney ID, service list, and judge name. This judge seems to have a sense of humor, but I’m pretty sure she will remember this in this case and with this lawyer and firm in the future. Always follow Judge Weston’s advice and don’t forget to proofread!
I will be the first to admit that I am not great at geography, however, if I was the one in charge of putting together a graphic for something that potentially millions of people would see, I would do some research to confirm my facts. My daughter, who lives in New Mexico and grew up in Arizona, sent me this one. Arizona is the state with the squiggly line between it and California (otherwise known as the Colorado River) and New Mexico is more the square state with the tail. The shape of New Mexico is indeed correct, but their labeling is wrong because the state they are highlighting is New Mexico NOT Arizona, although I am sure they do, indeed, intend to highlight Arizona.
I found this while I was making our annual tax credit donation to a local school. It looks like someone was in a hurry when they were putting together the information on the page. But this is really unacceptable to me. I set a much higher standard for learning institutions that are in charge of educating citizens. Misspelling “forensics” and “educators” means 20% of the choices in that dropdown menu are wrong. In addition, based on the other choices, it seems to me that the last one circled should be “Future Problem Solvers” unless there is only one member in that group solving all of the future problems. And speaking of only one member, apparently there is only one future physician in that club or it would be “Future Physicians’ Club.”
I came across this one as I was looking for some information. It seems that if you are talking about an important person who has spent a significant amount of time in your industry, you would try to make sure his name is correct and make sure it is spelled correctly throughout. That is important not only in journalism but in the work we do as well. The very first thing a client will notice is if their name is misspelled. Just take the time to make sure names are spelled correctly. Also, the apostrophe in the second place the name appears is unnecessary and sounds inappropriate in this article. It should say “Luongo (spelled correctly) has also . . ..”
My daughter-in-law forwarded this to me. It looks to me like someone was trying to make sure each word was capitalized but forgot to delete the extra letter resulting in duplication of letters. This is a good reminder to make sure that once you go through and make edits, check it again to make sure it is actually correct.