Mar 2, 2010

How to: Proofreading

Back in the day, I had a really cool internship as a proofreader for a big corporation. Along with writing copy, creative thinking, and brainstorming, my job was to proofread, proofread, proofread. The mindset I took away from this gig was something I have carried with me to this day - almost to the extreme where proofreading has become a weird hobby of mine. I have caught myself proofreading the back of toothpaste boxes at Wal-Mart, for example.

Blogging under the pressure of a deadline, or cranking something out before midnight on a daily basis, occasionally poses a risk to all beliefs I have about proofreading simply because I don't do it. I'm going to work on it so I don't sound like a giant hypocrite (and trust me, I could fine thousands of mistakes in my previous blogs...picky picky) and also because I don't want to look stupid. Using 'spellcheck' will only get you so far. But as dorky as it sounds, nothing looks worse than shooting off that big corporate email with of ton of grammatical errors. You don't have to be a writing whiz or have a list of honors writing classes notched on your belt to put a few coherent sentences together. Below are a few common grammatical mistakes:

it's - It's zombie killing time!
its - Give that gimp suit to me, along with its ball gag.

to - Let's go to Chipotle.
two - I'm going to eat two burritos.
too - Are you going to have massive diarrhea, too?

know - I know what you are, but what am I?
no - There is no way in Hell I'm getting in the ocean.

their - Their car died down in the middle of the train tracks.
there - Look at that speeding locomotive over there!
they're - Oh man, they're really screwed.

your - I bet your tax guy is going to get you a huge return.
you're - If H&R Block does the tax preparations, you're going to lose about $200.

lie - I lie down after writing a blog.
lay - I lay my doggy on top of my belly.

affect - These tequila shots are really going to affect my chances on hooking up tonight.
effect - The worst hangover ever was surely the effect of all those tequila shots last night.

good - You did a good job today.
well - How are you sir? I'm shitty! I mean, I'm doing well, thanks for asking.