By Hank Wieland

eraserIt’s a fact of life: typos happen. No doubt you’ve spotted them in printed materials, blogs, emails, websites, and even on TV – and wondered how in the world those mistakes slipped through to final distribution. Consider these embarrassments:

  • A holiday card company misspelled “detail” in its tagline, undermining its claim of reliability: “. . .always upholding the highest standards for ever detal.”
  • In its commencement program, a major university left out the critical “l” in “public” for its School of Public Affairs. You get the picture.
  • Chile once issued coins with the name of its own country misspelled: Chiie.
  • A presidential campaign transposed two letters in “America” to create a cringeworthy slogan: “A Better Amercia.”

In fact, many readers have made it their mission to collect examples of the most egregious typos and errors in grammar and punctuation. Entire websites are devoted to this topic.

Why it matters: protecting your image

Impressions count. Typos and other mistakes in your postings and publications can muddy your message. They can also paint a negative picture of your organization, signaling that you lack attentiveness to detail and do not take a professional approach to your work. Not everyone may notice, but those who do may take a step back from their decision to do business with you.

Lost in inner space: staring too long at your own writing

When we proofread our own drafts or check materials prepared by our organization, errors don’t leap out at us the way they do to others. It’s easy to gloss over the details. Often, we are so close to the content that we see what we expect to see instead of what’s actually on the screen or on the page. It’s nearly impossible, then, to proofread your own writing and be 100 percent error-free.

The fix: letting someone else look it over

The best way to avoid mistakes is to have someone else proofread your work before distribution. Better yet, have an outside resource supplement your in-house staff and be your co-pilot in creating high-quality copy. When you’re ready to share your writing in the print or web world, the safest way to go is to use an experienced agency that is well-versed in the nuances of spelling, grammar, and punctuation – and can offer a sharpness of eye and freshness of perspective that ensures your content is not only error-free but also clear, direct, and effective in reaching your target audience.

Need help? Susan Carol Creative can proofread, edit, or write your Google-friendly web copy, brochures, articles, white papers, and social media posts. Call us for an obligation-free chat at 540-847-1804.