Thursday, July 5, 2018

Still Finding Typos

A while ago, I been looking over my memoir after being away from it from some time (not sure how long in either case). And as always seems to be the case when looking over anything I have written, I have continued to find typos and omitted words. It's amazing how many times one can look over the same work and still find these things. I have begun noting errors on the current printout.

Today I saw this article:
What’s Up With That: Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos

I guess it can be hard to proofread one's own work. I've had to do its may times now, and I wonder how many more times I will have to go over it again, how many mistakes I will miss this time around. 

From Grammar Girl:

Proofreading Tips

So my primary advice on avoiding typos is to have someone else proofread your work. On the other hand, I know this isn't possible for things like e-mail or rushed projects, so here are four proofreading tips I've collected over the years.

  1. Read your work backward, starting with the last sentence and working your way in reverse order to the beginning. Supposedly this works better than reading through from the beginning because your brain knows what you meant to write, so you tend to skip over errors when you're reading forwards.
  2. Read your work out loud.  This forces you to read each word individually and increases the odds that you'll find a typo. This works quite well for me, and most of the typos that make it into my transcripts seem to be things you wouldn't catch by reading aloud, such as misplaced commas.
  3. Always proofread a printed version of your work. I don't know why, but if I try to proofread on a computer monitor I always miss more errors than if I print out a copy and go over it on paper.
  4. Give yourself some time. If possible, let your work sit for a while before you proofread it. I'm just speculating here, but it seems to me that if you are able to clear your mind and approach the writing from a fresh perspective, then your brain is more able to focus on the actual words, rather than seeing the words you think you wrote.

    Trying to read something outloud has been hard for me as I read rather fast. And has anyone ever read anything backwards? I would have never considered that one, but I can see it being pretty awkward.  And I have been trying tog et others to read my work, but to no avail. 
    What are some ways you look for mistakes in your writing? And how many times has it taken you to get this done?



  1. I am a woeful proof reader of my own work. Reading aloud works pretty well for me, but if it is a long piece it is daunting. I agree that it is easier with a printed copy than on screen.

  2. I send my manuscripts to my Kindle and use the text to speech feature to have the Kindle read to me. I find a lot of errors that way.

  3. Like, Kelly, I send mine to my Kindle. But I didn't know about the speech feature. That's a great heads up.

  4. Trying to read mine backward would have my mind reeling:) But I do like the idea of reading it out loud.