Re: Proofreading

Subject: Re: Proofreading
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 17:25:09 -0500

twriter01 -at- hotmail -dot- com wrote:

In response to "proofreading should be someone other than the other," what
if the auther (me) has had time away from the document already. Let's say
2 days. Does your suggestion still apply? Keep in mind, this proofread is
a FINAL proofread. The document has passed reviewers already. Some of them
may have done some proofreading in their review and some not. Sorry if
that wasn't clear.


I hope you didn't proofread that post!

Yes, a couple of days away does help. But having a natural talent for proofreading helps even more. And I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that being under 50 years old is critical to proofreading your own work.

Look. If you walk across the lawn on a sunny spring day, you can look back and see footprints, but a few hours later, at most, they will have disappeared. On the other hand, if you walk across the lawn, following exactly the same path, a thousand times in the course of a summer, you will wear a path and compact the ground so that no grass grows there.

The neural pathways that mediate the conversion of thought to keystrokes are like the lawn. 'Nuff said.

In any case, proofreading is hard. Proofreading your own work is much, much harder. And, as I said earlier in this thread, being a great tech writer does not mean that you are necessarily a proofreader of even modest capability. Let people who are good at it do it.


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