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Proofread Like A Pro Media Trust 21 June 2011
Welcome <ul><li>Matt Boothman </li></ul><ul><li>Copywriter </li></ul><ul><li>Redhouse Lane </li></ul>
Aims <ul><li>After this session, you should know: </li></ul><ul><li>how to spot spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes...
Agenda <ul><li>General principles </li></ul><ul><li>Spelling </li></ul><ul><li>Punctuation </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar </li>...
General principles
What does a proofreader do? <ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><li>correct spelling, punctuation and grammar errors </li></ul><ul><...
A different way of reading <ul><li>Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the lt...
A different way of reading <ul><li>First, skim for sense </li></ul><ul><li>Second, deep-read word by word </li></ul><ul><l...
When to leave ‘good enough’ alone <ul><li>Is it actually wrong, or just horrible? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it get the messag...
When to leave ‘good enough’ alone <ul><li>Conjunctions beginning sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Split infinitives </li></ul><...
Spelling
Typographical errors (typos) <ul><li>Missing characters (sticky / faulty keys) </li></ul><ul><li>Extra characters (multipl...
Orthographical errors (spelling mistakes) <ul><li>Phonetically correct, technically not so much (guessing) </li></ul><ul><...
Variable spellings <ul><li>British English </li></ul><ul><li>manoeuvre, aesthetic </li></ul><ul><li>defence, offence, pret...
Variable spellings <ul><li>~ise versus ~ize endings </li></ul><ul><li>Both acceptable in British and American English </li...
Variable spellings <ul><li>Spaced out </li></ul><ul><li>swear word </li></ul><ul><li>best selling </li></ul><ul><li>day to...
Variable spellings <ul><li>Consult styleguide </li></ul><ul><li>Flag in pencil </li></ul><ul><li>Make a note </li></ul><ul...
Exercise 1
Punctuation
Commas <ul><li>A short pause at the end of a clause or list item </li></ul><ul><li>The most overused punctuation mark in t...
Apostrophes <ul><li>Indicates: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Omission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possession </li></ul></ul><ul><li...
Dashes <ul><li>Hyphens: “-” </li></ul><ul><li>Soft or discretionary hyphen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bridges the separated hal...
Dashes <ul><li>En dashes: “ –” </li></ul><ul><li>Some people – mostly Britons – use them parenthetically </li></ul><ul><li...
Colons and semicolons <ul><li>Colons: </li></ul><ul><li>introduce lists </li></ul><ul><li>deliver the goods invoiced in th...
Screamers and interrobangs <ul><li>Rarely justifiable </li></ul><ul><li>Not a shortcut to an attention-grabbing statement ...
Exercise 2
<ul><li>Dear Jack I want a man who knows what love is all about you are generous kind and thoughtful people who are not li...
Grammar
Common grammar gripes <ul><li>Comma splice / fused sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Sentence fragments </li></ul><ul><li>Split i...
Sentence-ending prepositions <ul><li>Often something that’s ‘good enough’ to leave alone </li></ul><ul><li>Best avoided, b...
Subject –verb and pronoun agreement <ul><li>Identify the subject and the verb </li></ul><ul><li>Is the subject singular or...
Dangling modifiers <ul><li>A word or phrase that tries to modify something not present in the sentence </li></ul><ul><li>“...
Exercise 3
Break
Marking up corrections
Marking up corrections on paper <ul><li>Agree symbols with whoever will make the amendments </li></ul><ul><li>Red ink stan...
Marking up corrections on screen <ul><li>Microsoft Word </li></ul><ul><li>Tools > Track Changes </li></ul><ul><li>Adobe Ac...
House style
House style <ul><li>Tone of voice </li></ul><ul><li>Patterns of capitalisation </li></ul><ul><li>Expressing numbers and da...
House style <ul><li>Yes </li></ul><ul><li>Read it first </li></ul><ul><li>Note additions </li></ul><ul><li>Query deviation...
Final exercise
Proofreader’s checklist <ul><li>Pencilled corrections erased, confirmed or flagged as queries </li></ul><ul><li>Running he...
Thank you 14 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3JA   t  +44 (0)20 7462 2600   f  +44 (0)20 7462 2601   w  redhouselane.com   e  ...
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Proofread Like A Pro (June 2011)

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The presentation I compiled for the Media Trust's June 2011 Proofread Like A Pro seminar - a crash course in proofreading for charity communications professionals.

Produced while employed at Redhouse Lane Communications Ltd - www.redhouselane.com

Published in: Education, Technology
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Proofread Like A Pro (June 2011)

  1. 1. Proofread Like A Pro Media Trust 21 June 2011
  2. 2. Welcome <ul><li>Matt Boothman </li></ul><ul><li>Copywriter </li></ul><ul><li>Redhouse Lane </li></ul>
  3. 3. Aims <ul><li>After this session, you should know: </li></ul><ul><li>how to spot spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>how mistakes happen and how to fix them </li></ul><ul><li>which common mistakes to look out for, and which aren’t mistakes at all </li></ul><ul><li>when to be a pedant and when to walk away </li></ul><ul><li>how a house style can help to keep your organisation consistent </li></ul><ul><li>plenty of techniques, tips and tricks to help you proofread efficiently and accurately </li></ul>
  4. 4. Agenda <ul><li>General principles </li></ul><ul><li>Spelling </li></ul><ul><li>Punctuation </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar </li></ul><ul><li>BREAK </li></ul><ul><li>Proof correction marks </li></ul><ul><li>House style </li></ul><ul><li>Put it all together </li></ul>
  5. 5. General principles
  6. 6. What does a proofreader do? <ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><li>correct spelling, punctuation and grammar errors </li></ul><ul><li>enforce existing house style and consistency guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>eliminate unintended ambiguity </li></ul><ul><li>query facts and figures </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t: </li></ul><ul><li>rephrase, restructure or rewrite </li></ul><ul><li>countermand existing house style or consistency guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>alter facts or figures </li></ul>The proofreader is the last line of defence
  7. 7. A different way of reading <ul><li>Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. </li></ul>
  8. 8. A different way of reading <ul><li>First, skim for sense </li></ul><ul><li>Second, deep-read word by word </li></ul><ul><li>See what’s there, not what you expect </li></ul><ul><li>Four eyes good, two eyes bad </li></ul><ul><li>Take a teabreak </li></ul><ul><li>Try it backwards </li></ul><ul><li>Blind or against copy? </li></ul><ul><li>On-screen or hardcopy? </li></ul>
  9. 9. When to leave ‘good enough’ alone <ul><li>Is it actually wrong, or just horrible? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it get the message across? </li></ul><ul><li>What would be the knock-on effects of changing it? </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent sometimes trumps correct </li></ul><ul><li>Unnecessary corrections are a waste of everyone’s time and money </li></ul><ul><li>Only grammarvangelists use proofreading as a pulpit </li></ul>
  10. 10. When to leave ‘good enough’ alone <ul><li>Conjunctions beginning sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Split infinitives </li></ul><ul><li>Sentence-ending prepositions </li></ul><ul><li>Oxford commas </li></ul><ul><li>Numbers and figures </li></ul>
  11. 11. Spelling
  12. 12. Typographical errors (typos) <ul><li>Missing characters (sticky / faulty keys) </li></ul><ul><li>Extra characters (multiple keys pressed at once) </li></ul><ul><li>Case / number / symbol confusion (shift key errors) </li></ul><ul><li>Repeated text / orphaned words (copy and paste errors) </li></ul><ul><li>Correctly spelled misspellings fool spellcheckers </li></ul><ul><li>American Spellchecker Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Overenthusiastic Autocorrect Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Copy-typing from handwritten text </li></ul>
  13. 13. Orthographical errors (spelling mistakes) <ul><li>Phonetically correct, technically not so much (guessing) </li></ul><ul><li>Homophones: same pronunciation, different meaning / spelling </li></ul><ul><li>Made-up words </li></ul><ul><li>Incorrect / misunderstood word usage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effect / Affect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further / Farther </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Variable spellings <ul><li>British English </li></ul><ul><li>manoeuvre, aesthetic </li></ul><ul><li>defence, offence, pretence </li></ul><ul><li>centre, theatre, sceptre </li></ul><ul><li>sulphur </li></ul><ul><li>sceptic, mollusc </li></ul><ul><li>appal, fulfil, distil, enrol </li></ul><ul><li>mould, smoulder </li></ul><ul><li>catalogue, analogue </li></ul><ul><li>colour, humour, honour </li></ul><ul><li>analyse, paralyse, cosy </li></ul><ul><li>American English </li></ul><ul><li>maneuver, esthetic </li></ul><ul><li>defense, offense, pretense </li></ul><ul><li>center, theater, scepter </li></ul><ul><li>sulfur </li></ul><ul><li>skeptic, mollusk </li></ul><ul><li>appall, fulfill, distill, enroll </li></ul><ul><li>mold, smolder </li></ul><ul><li>catalog, analog </li></ul><ul><li>color, humor, honor </li></ul><ul><li>analyze, paralyze, cozy </li></ul>
  15. 15. Variable spellings <ul><li>~ise versus ~ize endings </li></ul><ul><li>Both acceptable in British and American English </li></ul><ul><li>Oxford University Press traditionally uses ~ize </li></ul><ul><li>Some words always take ~ise: </li></ul><ul><li>advertise </li></ul><ul><li>chastise </li></ul><ul><li>demise </li></ul><ul><li>disguise </li></ul><ul><li>exercise </li></ul><ul><li>premise </li></ul><ul><li>surmise </li></ul><ul><li>advise </li></ul><ul><li>circumcise </li></ul><ul><li>despise </li></ul><ul><li>enfranchise </li></ul><ul><li>improvise </li></ul><ul><li>prise </li></ul><ul><li>surprise </li></ul><ul><li>apprise </li></ul><ul><li>comprise </li></ul><ul><li>devise </li></ul><ul><li>enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>incise </li></ul><ul><li>revise </li></ul><ul><li>televise </li></ul><ul><li>arise </li></ul><ul><li>compromise </li></ul><ul><li>disenfranchise </li></ul><ul><li>excise </li></ul><ul><li>merchandise </li></ul><ul><li>supervise </li></ul>
  16. 16. Variable spellings <ul><li>Spaced out </li></ul><ul><li>swear word </li></ul><ul><li>best selling </li></ul><ul><li>day to day </li></ul><ul><li>film making </li></ul><ul><li>forward slash </li></ul><ul><li>in depth </li></ul><ul><li>grown up </li></ul><ul><li>Hyphenated </li></ul><ul><li>co-operate </li></ul><ul><li>swear-word </li></ul><ul><li>best-selling </li></ul><ul><li>day-to-day </li></ul><ul><li>e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>film-making </li></ul><ul><li>forward-slash </li></ul><ul><li>in-depth </li></ul><ul><li>grown-up </li></ul><ul><li>Closed up </li></ul><ul><li>cooperate </li></ul><ul><li>swearword </li></ul><ul><li>bestselling </li></ul><ul><li>email </li></ul><ul><li>filmmaking </li></ul><ul><li>forwardslash </li></ul><ul><li>indepth </li></ul><ul><li>grownup </li></ul>
  17. 17. Variable spellings <ul><li>Consult styleguide </li></ul><ul><li>Flag in pencil </li></ul><ul><li>Make a note </li></ul><ul><li>Watch out for other uses </li></ul><ul><li>Consult or make a decision </li></ul><ul><li>Make it consistent </li></ul><ul><li>Add to styleguide </li></ul>
  18. 18. Exercise 1
  19. 19. Punctuation
  20. 20. Commas <ul><li>A short pause at the end of a clause or list item </li></ul><ul><li>The most overused punctuation mark in the English language </li></ul><ul><li>The Oxford Comma </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For breakfast he ate eggs, bacon, and tomatoes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attending the funeral were her parents, the vicar and his dog. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The comma splice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I like swimming, I go to the pool every week. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Apostrophes <ul><li>Indicates: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Omission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possession </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The greengrocer’s apostrophe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apple’s, turnip’s and pomegranate’s for sale! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dot the i’s and cross the t’s. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Its / It’s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>She fed the fish its food [the fish’s food]. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s [It is] a seriously greedy fish. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Dashes <ul><li>Hyphens: “-” </li></ul><ul><li>Soft or discretionary hyphen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bridges the separated halves of a word divided across two lines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beware bad breaks: Arse-nal, read-just, leg-end </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hard hyphen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joins together words or parts of words to form compounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ First-class report” or “First class report”? </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Dashes <ul><li>En dashes: “ –” </li></ul><ul><li>Some people – mostly Britons – use them parenthetically </li></ul><ul><li>Used in ranges: “Pages 19–45” </li></ul><ul><li>To / And / Or </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Dover–Calais crossing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Murray–Federer match </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An on–off relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Em dashes: “—” </li></ul><ul><li>Some people—mainly Americans—use them parenthetically </li></ul><ul><li>Omission or redaction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It was in the year 19— that I first encountered the Earl of M—. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Colons and semicolons <ul><li>Colons: </li></ul><ul><li>introduce lists </li></ul><ul><li>deliver the goods invoiced in the preceding phrase </li></ul><ul><li>are equivalent to words like “namely”, “that is”, and “therefore” </li></ul><ul><li>Semicolons: </li></ul><ul><li>are stronger than commas but weaker than full points </li></ul><ul><li>divide list items introduced by colons </li></ul><ul><li>divide clauses that are related, but could stand alone as sentences </li></ul>
  25. 25. Screamers and interrobangs <ul><li>Rarely justifiable </li></ul><ul><li>Not a shortcut to an attention-grabbing statement </li></ul><ul><li>Advance warning of amateurish copy </li></ul><ul><li>Would the sentence be exciting without the bang? </li></ul><ul><li>Flag or query suspected overuse </li></ul><ul><li>“ Chancellor to cut tobacco duty by 0.1 per cent” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Chancellor to cut tobacco duty by 0.1 per cent!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Chancellor to cut tobacco duty by 0.1 per cent!!!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Chancellor to cut tobacco duty by 0.1 per cent?!” </li></ul>
  26. 26. Exercise 2
  27. 27. <ul><li>Dear Jack I want a man who knows what love is all about you are generous kind and thoughtful people who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior you have ruined me for other men I yearn for you I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart I can be forever happy will you let me be yours Jill </li></ul>
  28. 28. Grammar
  29. 29. Common grammar gripes <ul><li>Comma splice / fused sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Sentence fragments </li></ul><ul><li>Split infinitives </li></ul><ul><li>Tautology / pleonasm / double negatives </li></ul><ul><li>Conjunctions beginning sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Passive voice </li></ul><ul><li>Actually wrong, or just horrible? </li></ul>
  30. 30. Sentence-ending prepositions <ul><li>Often something that’s ‘good enough’ to leave alone </li></ul><ul><li>Best avoided, but not by tying the sentence in knots </li></ul><ul><li>“ A preposition is a bad word to end a sentence with.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ This is something everyone wants to be a part of.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ This is the kind of language up with which I will not put!” </li></ul>
  31. 31. Subject –verb and pronoun agreement <ul><li>Identify the subject and the verb </li></ul><ul><li>Is the subject singular or plural? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the verb “agree”? </li></ul><ul><li>If the subject is a pronoun… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What noun is the pronoun replacing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the noun singular or plural? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the pronoun “agree”? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the verb? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is your organisation singular or plural? </li></ul>
  32. 32. Dangling modifiers <ul><li>A word or phrase that tries to modify something not present in the sentence </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sipping cocktails on the balcony, the moon looked magnificent.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sipping cocktails on the balcony, I admired the magnificent moon.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Once recognised, the proofreader can fix the dangler.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Once recognised, danglers are easy to fix.” </li></ul>
  33. 33. Exercise 3
  34. 34. Break
  35. 35. Marking up corrections
  36. 36. Marking up corrections on paper <ul><li>Agree symbols with whoever will make the amendments </li></ul><ul><li>Red ink stands out, except when it doesn’t </li></ul><ul><li>Not 100% sure? Pencil it in </li></ul><ul><li>Circle your comments </li></ul><ul><li>Use both margins </li></ul><ul><li>Be unambiguous </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~bstahl/CORRECTION_MARKS.pdf </li></ul>
  37. 37. Marking up corrections on screen <ul><li>Microsoft Word </li></ul><ul><li>Tools > Track Changes </li></ul><ul><li>Adobe Acrobat </li></ul><ul><li>Review & Comment > Text Edits </li></ul><ul><li>Resist the temptation to copy-edit </li></ul><ul><li>Global Find and Replace is the nuclear option </li></ul>
  38. 38. House style
  39. 39. House style <ul><li>Tone of voice </li></ul><ul><li>Patterns of capitalisation </li></ul><ul><li>Expressing numbers and dates </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptable abbreviations </li></ul><ul><li>Formatting rules </li></ul><ul><li>Punctuation idiosyncrasies </li></ul><ul><li>Rulings on variable spelling </li></ul><ul><li>Rulings on variable hyphenation </li></ul>
  40. 40. House style <ul><li>Yes </li></ul><ul><li>Read it first </li></ul><ul><li>Note additions </li></ul><ul><li>Query deviations if necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Bundle list of additions with marked-up proofs </li></ul><ul><li>No </li></ul><ul><li>Compile it as you go along </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure it’s available to proofreaders in the future </li></ul>Is there an existing house style guide?
  41. 41. Final exercise
  42. 42. Proofreader’s checklist <ul><li>Pencilled corrections erased, confirmed or flagged as queries </li></ul><ul><li>Running heads / footers, page numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Graphics, charts, illustrations and other figures </li></ul><ul><li>Table of contents, index, footnotes </li></ul><ul><li>Placeholder text </li></ul><ul><li>Marked-up proofs dated and initialled in a circle </li></ul><ul><li>Page lengths / widths </li></ul><ul><li>Section headings / chapter titles </li></ul><ul><li>Last-minute alterations </li></ul><ul><li>Update or compile styleguide </li></ul>
  43. 43. Thank you 14 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3JA t +44 (0)20 7462 2600 f +44 (0)20 7462 2601 w redhouselane.com e [email_address]

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