This was shared to us by our editing mentor and I felt that this will be worth sharing and would resonate with most of our clients.
With so many tasks, sometimes we tend to ignore editing when we send emails or share articles, even I am guilty of this...
I remembered a post from my life coach on the wrong spelling & how she had reacted to that. In the professional world, people tend to be more critical on this and might have some cost implications to our business.
WHAT ARE TYPOS AND BLIND SPOTS?
As a saying goes, "to err is human; to forgive is divine". As long as we are humans, we will make mistakes, in one way or another.
Even the best of us can make silly mistakes in our writing.
And social media and the internet don't help much when they cause us to have a short attention span, no thanks to information overload.
Recently, shortly after I posted about my editing course on my timeline, I was aghast upon rereading my post and spotting an extra word.
I quickly edited the post by deleting the extra word.
Similarly, when I was taking part in a 30-day video challenge, I saw the same phenomenon.
Many of my group members and I would post a video and then realise that we got the day numbers mixed up.
WHY DO TYPOS HAPPEN?
Well, stuff like that happens all the time - fatigue, carelessness, busyness, difficulty in noticing small details on phone screen or computer screen, and so on.
It is usually fine in a casual learning environment where everyone is gracious and overlooks each other's typos.
But in a professional environment, people tend to be less forgiving or more critical, due to having a higher expectation of a certain "perfection" or standard.
Another reason why we have blind spots is that we are used to our own writing, and we often don't realise we have an awkward phrase or sentence until someone highlights it to us.
Or after checking our work umpteen times, we become so desensitized to it that we can be staring at an obvious mistake and still be oblivious to it!
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF TYPOS?
In business contexts, such mistakes can be costly.
For example, recently, a major airline company discovered a misspelling of their name that was painted on an aircraft, and it may cost thousands of dollars to correct it.
Now imagine publishing a book and realising there is a typo on the book cover or book spine after it is printed in bulk.
If you choose to recall the books from the market or print stickers to cover it, it can be costly too.
Or imagine your resume contains a glaring error, which may affect your chances of landing an interview with a prospective employer.
HOW CAN WE DEAL WITH TYPOS AND BLIND SPOTS?
So what can we do about typos and blind spots?
👉 Practise the habit of checking our work before publishing it. (In fact, I find it helpful to reread my posts after I post them online because I often discover a typo or imperfection that I overlooked earlier.)
👉 Improve our editing and proofreading skills (such as by taking editing courses, such as this basic editing course and the advanced editing challenge which I will conduct after this one is completed).
👉 Partner with another writer to peer check each other's work
(In my previous company, we editors routinely peer checked one another's work. We call it "peer editing".)
👉 Hire a professional editor to help edit and proofread your work (I do freelance editing and can offer my editorial services at a reasonable rate)
As the saying goes, "two pairs of eyes are better than one."
What other ways can you think of that can help you deal with typos and blind spots?
Feel free to share your views or experiences, or ask any question you may have.
P.S.. I confess that after posting this lesson, I reread it several times and made several rounds of corrections to improve it.
For example, I found that the original post was a bit too long and decided to add subheadings to improve the flow of reading.
Similarly, you can think of ways to improve your writing each time you reread it too.
Jimmy Tan San Tek is a freelance writer and editor, who has 20 years of editorial experience in educational publishing. He conducts online courses on editing and writing English. Visit his website jimmytst.wordpress.com for more details.