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Friday, November 9, 2012

10 Tips to Banish Typos | Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl

Noting that typos in a document can be embarrassing, costly and misleading, Fogarty's article provides useful tips to help us prevent them before publication.

Summarized, here they are:
  1. Have someone else read your work. ...
  2. When you’re writing on your computer, use the auto-correct feature. ...
  3. Run your work through your computer’s spell-checking tool. ... Don’t think the computer is infallible though. ... The computer can highlight things you should check yourself, but it isn’t perfect.
  4. Print your work. ... Many people find that if they try to proofread on a computer monitor, they miss more errors than when reading a printed copy of their work.
  5. Give yourself some time. If possible, let your work sit for a while before you proofread it. ...
  6. Read your work aloud. This forces you to read each word individually. ...
  7. Force yourself to view each word. If you don’t want to read aloud, you can force yourself to consider each word by using the tip of a pencil or pen to physically touch each word. ...
  8. Read your work backward, starting with the last sentence and working your way in reverse order to the beginning. ...
  9. Separate proofreading tasks. Read the article through once to just check the spelling, and then read it through again to just check the punctuation. ...
  10. Print your work in a different font with different margins. ...
I typically follow tips 1-3 and 5, and I occasionally follow tips 4 and 6. Tip 10 is intriguing, as it was for Fogarty when she read about it.
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This article is featured today, Nov. 9, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Style: Write Choices--available at the Editorial Style tab above and by free email subscription.

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