New Discussion: Ut Oh… a Typo!

Read This 01

I find a lot of typos in the material that I read – in newspapers, magazines,  journals, advertising, and marketing materials. Obviously, we all need to proof any, and all, material that we work on. The other day I received a reminder email of this from Bulletproof. Below is what they recommend.

“Here are some helpful tips when reviewing your copy:

Don’t Take Headers for Granted/Read Them Again…and Then One More Time
People often assume headers are correct and speed right past them to get to where they think typos are hiding. Sometimes they’re in plain sight…and large.

Read Every Letter
Because of language familiarity, we have a tendency to read what we expect to see instead of what’s actually there. If you force yourself to look at every letter, you will avoid this risky habit.

Read the Copy Backwards Once
Obviously, context is important, but this different perspective keeps you from getting lost in the narrative of the subject matter and missing a typo.

Double-check Then, Than and That
The wrong choice between then and than and a that meant to be a than are among the most common mistakes we see, and of course, your spell-check program is no help.”


About Nate Marks

We live and work in a world of visual images.
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2 Responses to New Discussion: Ut Oh… a Typo!

  1. Mike Willett says:

    Ah, one of my pet peeves. Simple, correct English is something that is rapidly becoming a lost art. You needn’t be an expert to get it right, just keep it plain, to the point, and simple.

    Over and over I am assaulted by people that never learned to spell, use words in a sentence correctly, etc., then they wonder why their response rate is less than what they were hoping for. Remember when your grade school and high school English teachers did their best to bestow upon you some semblance of understanding the value of proper sentence structure, spelling, etc.? Well, now is the time to re-visit those past lessons and finally make an effort to get it right.

    You can either be someone that knows how to communicate, or the idiot that people either laugh at, don’t buy from, or don’t even read their messages. No, we are not all infallible, but some sort of attempt, along with all the software to help you, leaves you with absolutely no excuse. If you think it does, then for heaven’s sake, take down your ads, your blogs, your communications all over the Internet, and stop embarrassing yourself.

  2. My high-school English teacher was a real “witch” in teaching us what we needed to learn, including diagramming sentences; but we knew we needed it and didn’t complain. After graduation we interacted with her in a more relaxed way, and found she was a real, and warm, human being. I find English errors all the time in both grammar and spelling. Someday I might get the info on some widespread grammar errors which are made even by journalists, print them out, and keep them handy for future griping. I will share that Firefox does spell-check on most of what we keyboard in, unlike IE. My biggest pet peeve nowadays is people who begin nearly every sentence with “So, …” despite its not being thereby linked with the previous sentence. A journalist will ask the interviewee a yes-or-no question, and get the response, “So, [blah blah].” Another leading word I hear is “Right, …” before the person answers the question, to indicate he thinks it’s a good question. I’ve found that digital software doesn’t do very well in grammar-check, because it doesn’t understand complex embedment of clauses and phrases in longer sentences.

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