Have you ever written a text and, while reviewing it, discovered errors that at first had gone completely unnoticed? Even worse is when you realise a mistake after having submitted a document to its final recipient, and all you can say is, “but I revised it a thousand times!”
Let me tell you, it is not just you. It happens more often than you think, and I know how frustrating it can be. That is why I want to talk to you about professional proofreading and how it can help you avoid this type of frustration.
If you are looking for a professional and exquisite image, keep reading. With a professional proofreader, not only is there no room for mistakes, but also:
- You will convey a professional and well-thought-out image
- You will expedite reading and avoid misunderstandings
- You will strengthen the connection with your reader or customer
Including professional proofreading in your writing process is a guarantee of quality.
In fact, it is a filter that analyses all of the spelling, grammar, and syntax of the writing, which can include the style and typography, for example. In addition, the process targets consistency between different parts and sections of the text. Without a doubt, it is the perfect way to ensure an optimal result.
That being said, there is always the question of whether it is necessary or not to hire a professional proofreader. You might think it is something you can do yourself as a native speaker of the language in question.
But it is not as easy as it looks.
Why? First of all, speaking a language does not mean knowing all of the spelling and grammar rules, nor is it a guarantee of being able to explain yourself in writing — which is very different from knowing how to explain yourself when speaking. In addition, if you are not committed to being well versed in the language, it can be very complicated to keep up with the most recent updates of the */*RAE.
For these reasons and many more, a good text revision done by a professional proofreader serves as a link between the person who wrote the text and the recipient (employers, readers, customers, etc).
For you, this is an invaluable benefit because you will make yourself understood clearly and precisely. That is the key in today’s world because we all go fast and read fast. We want to understand what is being said to us, and if anything confuses us, we stop reading.
When Autocorrect is not enough
Autocorrect is an Office tool that has become essential for many people. It is a wonderful tool to be able to use in this age of writing, since it is very useful in preventing easy-to-avoid spelling and grammar errors from going undetected.
What’s more is that we think that running the autocorrect or spellchecker is an essential step before submitting or publishing any text.
But (and here comes the “but”), if you want a final text to be flawless in every way, automatic proofreaders have certain limitations.
Why is autocorrect not enough? Its dictionary is limited, so it does not correct punctuation or how words are used in context. It only knows some grammar rules, and it cannot improve the style of a text like a human proofreader.
Surely, you often have to click “ignore once” when reviewing a document, or you find errors after having run the autocorrect. This happens because automatic revision tools do not understand the use of some words in their context.
Unlike automatic revisions, professional proofreaders detect those things that are difficult to see. Details that are elusive to the rest of us mere mortals who do not have a “clinical eye” for language issues are mastered perfectly by professional proofreaders.
Who can benefit from professional proofreading?
The truth is that having a professional proofreader brings with it a series of advantages that can greatly benefit us. On the one hand, proofreading experts will be in charge of correcting spelling and grammar errors, as well as examining the document carefully to detect possible errors. On the other hand, they will improve the style of the document and they will consider the legibility and coherence of the text.
Furthermore, not only do they break down the text in order to meticulously correct it, but they also analyse it as a whole and always consider the audience at which it is aimed.
But don’t worry, because a professional proofreader will never modify the meaning of your text, and they will consult you regarding any important changes so that you can give them your approval.
In short, the proofreader is the person that immerses themselves in the text and detects the inaccuracy or error that autocorrect would overlook.
For this reason, a professional proofreader is useful for a wide variety of types of texts and objectives. For example:
- Freelance writers who wants to publish literary texts
- Producing advertising material in the marketing field
- The phase prior to the layout of e-books
- The correction of academic texts
- The correction of websites
- The publication of magazines
And these are just a couple of examples. Proofreading is a solution applicable to a wide range of professions and fields.
In the end, it’s all about style
When you are looking for the careful and precise polishing of texts, you have to be very exact. That is why it is essential to know about all aspects of language: grammar, syntax, lexicon, morphology, spelling, and even typography.
What many businesses and institutions do is create style guides, manuals, or books that can later be used by a style editor to achieve the desired efficient communication. In these types of documents, you can find the basic recommendations concerning the creation, editing, composition, and the correction of texts. They also tend to include indications about the register (formal or informal), the target audience and adaptations of measurement systems, to give just a few examples.
But what is not questioned is that a style editor can help you improve the result of your work. We can become obsessed with finding small mistakes, but it is very difficult to manage these if you are not an expert in the language. Even for those who work with language daily, it is tremendously complicated to make sure that all mistakes have been corrected. In fact, it’s not just me saying this, Arturo Pérez-Reverte makes it clear in Erratas y gazapos how difficult it is for us not to overlook an error.
In general, a style editor looks for consistency and agreement, adjusts the punctuation, undoes unintended ambiguities, and repairs lexical errors. It is, without a doubt, a text’s best friend, since it will make it shine by highlighting its essence in a coherent, legible, and simple way.
The most important part of proofreading
Here, I would like to highlight that a text with spelling, lexical, or grammatical errors loses credibility. In addition, it conveys a negative image that in many cases does not do justice to the time and effort invested in the text.
And this is a shame because, for example, an advertising campaign with errors will have the opposite effect from what was intended and it will transmit a careless image of the business. Without a doubt, hiring a professional proofreader is the way to go for a perfect image. Get the result you want with a professional proofreader.
Have you ever hired a proofreader? What was it like? Tell us in the comments.