Aces 2010 Presentation: Power of Proofreading


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The Power of Proofreading presentation by Sherrie Voss Matthews, John Braun, and Sherri HIldebrandt at the 2010 ACES conference.

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  • Pass around the pen that doesn’t write. And the mug that isn’t spelled correctly.
  • Use laser pointer to note misspelling!
  • Insert bad head here
  • Insert star wars head
  • Note: Mention how you must beware using out-of-house contractors. Make sure the specs are crystal-clear. We also had difficulties with bleeds, trim and expectations.
  • In my defense, it was late in the day. Make sure you proof with fresh eyes. Five of us approved this, by the way.
  • Use laser pointer to show hard return.
  • Cultivate people with strange hobbies. Have someone who knows obscure trivia. It helps.
  • Aces 2010 Presentation: Power of Proofreading

    1. 1. The Power of Proofreading<br />Presented by:Sherrie Voss Matthews, Multimedia Editor, Institute of Texan CulturesJohn Braun, Editor, VanguardSherri Hildebrandt, Owner, <br />
    2. 2. What is proofreading?<br />Similar to editing<br />Give every aspect a closer look, including:<br />Design<br />White space<br />Spelling<br />Punctuation<br />Other nitpicky details: Does this work? Is this right? <br />
    3. 3. More than print<br />Many of us are responsible for multiple projects<br />Web – Do links work? <br />Promotional materials – Does the pen write?<br />Maps – Does this make logical sense? Are geographical references correct?<br />Scripts – Does the text make sense to those outside the organization?<br />Video – Are transitions even? Does the transcript match the script? <br />
    4. 4. Blooper: Grammar<br />I want TWO!<br />Watch for common grammatical mistakes by non-writers. <br />
    5. 5. Watch those apostrophes!<br />
    6. 6. Bloopers: Big mistakes<br />Cross-check photos to text.<br />This looks correct. It isn’t. <br />Why?<br />The photo isn’t Charles A. Wells, Jr. <br />This is Mr. Wells: <br />
    7. 7. Triple-check spell check<br />Have fresh eyes when you check. Spell check won’t catch everything, but it should have caught this!<br />Reading aloud will slow you down and help you check for flow. <br />Reading backwards will slow you down and help you check spelling. <br />
    8. 8. Dirty minds needed<br />This has made the Facebook and TV show rounds. <br />Don’t go there. <br />Even if it is funny, don’t go there. :)<br />
    9. 9. Look at the graphics!<br />The humor is unintentional.<br />Watch those images!<br />
    10. 10. Bloopers: Don’t assume everyone gets the joke.<br />Props to the headline writer, but one problem: Not everyone is going to get the joke. <br />Be sure the references are clear enough before trying the pun. <br />
    11. 11. Make sure the writing makes sense to the reader<br />The headline fits the specs. <br />It is factually true.<br />But does it make sense to a reader skimming the page?<br />
    12. 12. Make sure it makes sense, period<br />Gee, wonder why?<br />
    13. 13. Bloopers: Know your geography!<br />Fort Mill is in South Carolina. You wouldn’t know that from these reports:<br />From the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader:FORT MILL, N.C. --- The Rev. John Giuliani noticed several boys last month trading Pokemon cards near his church's water fountain. Amazed that children were so spellbound -- and worried about kids collecting fictional monsters -- he had an idea: Holy-Man cards."Every month they'll get a card with a real person on it who lived a good life,“ says Giuliani, pastor of Fort Mill's St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church. <br />From The Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pa:FORT MILL, N.C. --- Long first-inning home runs by Nick Punto and Chase Utley provided most of the offense in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons' 7-3 victory against the Charlotte Knights on Tuesday night. <br />
    14. 14. Bloopers: Where is Fort Mill?<br />From National Mortgage News: HSBC Mortgage Services of Fort Mill, N.C., is exiting the subprime correspondent channel, National Mortgage News has learned. Use Google to be absolutely sure:HSBC Mortgage 3023 HSBC WayFort Mill, SC 29707-7144(803) 835-6000<br />From the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle<br />Few people can say they placed among the top 10 in a world championship, but Grovetown resident Nick Jacobson can add that distinction to his list of accomplishments. <br />This summer, Nick spent the better part of two months practicing and then competing in drum and bugle corps contests with Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, based in Fort Mill, N.C.<br />
    15. 15. Bloopers: Abiline? Abilene?<br />Never assume graphic designerscan spell. <br />Check every bit of text. <br />Abilene is misspelled. <br /> Whoops. <br />
    16. 16. Blooper: Gonzales, Texas<br />Some names are going to trip you up. Always check.<br />We changed Gonzalez to Gonzales on multiple publications. A quick Google check confirms the “S” spelling. <br />
    17. 17. For designers: Going postal<br />Our post office never allows text centered on a postcard’s lower portion.<br />Double-check everything. Don’t just look for obvious mistakes. <br />This would have been a costly printing error, had we not caught it.<br />Our postmaster would have sent 1,000 postcards back to us.<br />
    18. 18. Bloopers: Editing madness<br />From The Charlotte Observer:Emily Bellows started swimming in 1908 in the creeks and millponds around Beech Island, S.C., a few miles fromAugusta, Ga. <br />When submitted to the copy desk, it had read:Emily Bellows started swimming in 1908 in the creeks and millponds around Island Beach, Ga., a few miles from Augusta. <br />
    19. 19. Multiple-eye miss<br />Five people approved this before it went to the printer. None of us have a tattoo. Or know how to spell tattoo, apparently.<br />
    20. 20. Spell check is our friend<br />
    21. 21. Check: Hyphens<br /> <br />Hyphenation in a block of ragged-right text.<br />Note how this just looks goofy. <br />Watch for bad breaks. <br />
    22. 22. Check: Web addresses <br />Note how the Web address is broken between two lines for no good reason. This is another instance of bad breaks that could be avoided to eliminate confusion.<br />Also: Check every Web address. Call every phone number. Never trust the copywriters to be right. <br /> <br />
    23. 23. Check: Hard returns<br />Watch hard returns. <br />This return was in a draft of a document, which is then imported into a graphics file.<br /> <br />
    24. 24. Check: Line breaks<br />Line breaks are important:<br />
    25. 25. Do the math, be the math<br />Compound interest <br />Basic formula<br />Future value = Present value x (1 + interest rate)(number of years)<br /> or FV = PV(1+i)n<br /> <br />
    26. 26. Do the math, be the math<br />FV = PV(1+i)n<br /> means that: <br /> FV is a multiple of PV. If you put twiceas much in, you get twice as muchback out. <br />Time (n) increases FV exponentially. If you double the time, you get more than twice the growth. This is the “magic of compounding.”<br />
    27. 27. Sometimes we get it right<br /> <br />Compounding can make a difference when you save over the long term. For example, a $1,000 investment, growing at an average rate of 8% per year, could compound to $1,469 in five years and $2,159 in ten years!<br />Ordinarily, the account would grow 8% a year, or $80. <br />After five years, you should have $1,400. But through compounding, you have $69 more.<br />After 10 years, you should have $1,800, but you have $359 more.<br />
    28. 28. Sometimes we get it wrong<br />Let’s look at Jim and Joe, both of whom earn $25,000.<br /> <br />Jim contributes 3% to the plan and receives a company contribution of 2% for a total contribution of 5%. Over 20 years Jim would accumulate close to $100,000.<br />Joe contributes 6% to the plan and receives a company contribution of 3.5% for a total contribution of 9.5%. Over 20 years Joe would accumulate about $150,000.<br /> <br />This hypothetical example assumes a return of 8% and does not represent the return on any particular investment.<br /> <br />Corrected to:<br /> Jim contributes 3% to the plan and receives a company contribution of 2% for a total contribution of 5%. Over 20 years Jim would accumulate close to $60,000.<br /> Joe contributes 6% to the plan and receives a company contribution of 3.5% for a total contribution of 9.5%. Over 20 years Joe would accumulate about $110,000.<br />
    29. 29. Sometimes we get it wrong<br />Chris, age 30, earns $40,000 a year and hopes to retire at age 65. He is contributing 4% and has a balance of $50,000 in his Plan account. He is invested conservatively, so his portfolio earns about 5% a year.<br />Saving 4%, plus getting a 4% match from his employer, Chris will have about $259,300 total, or $10,370 a year to spend in retirement. Not quite what he needs.<br /> <br />Chris decides to increase his contribution rate by two percentage points for a total of 6% to get the full company match of 6%. With this boost, he will have $870,100 total, or $34,810 annually for his retirement expenses. That’s $610,800 more when he retires, and $24,440 a year more to spend.<br />
    30. 30. Lessons<br />Be skeptical. <br />Check everything. <br />Never trust Word’s spell check.<br />Walk away. Then proof again.<br />Find a reliable backup proofreader.<br />Read slowly. Out loud. Backwards.<br />In doubt? Find an in-house expert.<br />Know your weaknesses. <br />Go somewhere quiet to proofread.<br />
    31. 31. Resources<br />Purdue University:<br />University of North Carolina:<br />Merriam-Webster proofreading symbols:<br />
    32. 32. Just for fun<br /><br />“Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks<br />Facebook Group: Every time you misuse an apostrophe, I’m going to remove a finger<br />Huffington Post slideshow of horrid headlines<br />
    33. 33. Panel discussion<br />Special thanks and extra credit to Melody Sanders, Kirsten Efird, Luci Calanor, Jack Pointer, Greg Matthews, Sherrie Voss Matthews, John Braun and The Huffington Post for the bloopers.<br />