What you might have heard
If you’re considering hiring a proofreader for the first time, you might have discussed it with friends, family or colleagues to see what they think. Here are some typical examples of the kind of advice many people in your position tend to receive, followed by my response.
1. 'Don’t bother. All they do is check for typos and you can do that yourself.'
If that was all a professional proofreader had to do, then we wouldn’t spend hundreds of pounds and years of training to become fully competent. We also wouldn’t need to invest in dictionaries, style guides and other reference books and materials to assist us in our decision-making.
2. 'Even if you do let a few typos slip through, it doesn’t matter. No one will notice.'
They will. And when they do, they might just stop reading, and then all the time and effort that you’ve invested in your writing would have been wasted. I’m sure most people would forgive the occasional error – after all, nobody’s perfect – but anything more than that could be viewed as sloppy, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they then lost faith or interest in whatever it is you’re attempting to communicate.
3. 'You can always use spellcheck.'
Spellcheck can be useful, but it won’t help you when you’ve inadvertently used the wrong word; I recently came across the word ‘bondage’ which should have been ‘bonding’ – now that could have been embarrassing for my client!
4. 'No one worries about grammar anymore – language is evolving.'
Yes, language is always evolving; new words come and go all the time, and some even stick around. But that’s just vocabulary. Grammar rules do change as language evolves, but it’s a much slower process than the adoption of new words. In the meantime, the rules are there to ensure clarity and consistency in the way we communicate, which is crucial, especially in formal writing. Grammar rules are complex, and one thing is true: you don’t need to worry too much about grammar – let a professional deal with it on your behalf.
What do you think?
If you are still in any doubt as to whether you need a proofreader, then get in touch for a free quote and to see how I can help you improve your text.
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