Today I started out my morning wiping the egg off my face. Too bad it wasn’t from an omelet. While checking my Facebook messages I learned that there was a spelling error in my blog header. Imagine my horror to then discover while looking at it with fresh eyes that there were two.
I’ve always had this issue where my mind thinks faster than my fingers and I can get letters out-of-order and cause those dreaded spelling errors.
So after fixing my site header this morning, I did some research and found someone has created a neologism for this condition – Typoglycemia. I’ve always considered myself having some undiagnosed form of dyslexia
Typoglycemia has a page on Wikipedia (so it has to be true), and it states that “typoglycemia is a neologism given to a purported recent discovery about the cognitive processes behind written text.” However, to my disappointment, it goes on to say that it is, “…an urban legend/Internet meme with an element of truth to it.”
Many of us have all seen this email/Internet meme…
“Anidroccg to crad–cniyrrag lcitsiugnis planoissefors at an uemannd utisreviny in Bsitirh Cibmuloa, and crartnoy to the duoibus cmials of the ueticnd rcraeseh, a slpmie, macinahcel ioisrevnn of ianretnl cretcarahs araepps sneiciffut to csufnoe the eadyrevy oekoolnr.”
Actually should read like this.
“According to card-carrying linguistics professionals at an unnamed university in British Columbia, and contrary to the dubious claims of the uncited research, a simple, mechanical inversion of internal characters appears nfl jerseys china sufficient to confuse the everyday onlooker.”
This is why I love the red squiggly so much. It usually does a good job of catching my faux pas, but still, I occasionally miss a few.
In my days as a journalist, I always fell victim to this during breaking news. I had my fair share of really good ones. Even though my I looked at the copy two or three times before hitting send, my brain didn’t catch the error because it auto corrected the typo in my head.
90% of the time I’d catch it when reading the story again on the live site. I then quickly fixed the error and hope it didn’t get cached worldwide. If it did it was usually the same moment when the corner office decided to click and read that article.
So here are my tips on proofreading…
- Write then walk away, or at least go on to something else. Clear your head of that subject so when you sit down and take a look again your brain can look with fresh eyes.
- Use the resources available. Run it through Microsoft Word or use an online service like GrammarBase or Grammarly. GrammarBase is a free service, Grammarly will cost you $30/mo.
- Have a peer check your work. Peers are always a good resource to have them give your writing a critical eye.
- Hire a professional. There are plenty of professional freelance proofreaders you can hire to check your copy. If the project is important enough — it’s worth the investment.
In the end, we’re all human and mistakes are going to happen. When they do — accept responsibility and quickly correct the mistake and learn from it.