Please Proofread Your Posts Before I Loose My Mind…
See…doesn’t that sound stupid? Unfortunately, this has been an epidemic that has plagued the Internet since time immemorial: the blatant abuse of the English language in blog posts, tweets, status updates, comments, and more. Loose when you mean lose. Business names misspelled. Fillers including ‘kinda’ and ‘sorta’ actually appearing in print. Apostrophes where they don’t belong and no punctuation where it does. The biggest saving grace to pour (see, stuff like that!) spelling has been the ability to comment with a GIF, thus lessening the number of ‘Congradulations!’ extended for a job well done.
As a writer and content creator, I take grammar very seriously. Am I perfect? Nope. From time to time, I catch an error I accidentally glazed over once something is published. But it’s rare. I was trained at a young age to proofread and proofread hard when it came to reports, term papers, or tests I submitted. Then, I had that same philosophy drilled into my head even deeper in college. So much so, you may diagnose me with grammar OCD. And if you do, I’ll gladly wear that tag like a badge of honor.
What you put online is an extension of yourself and your company, so it goes without saying you should put your best foot forward. Whether I’m writing for my own publications or a client’s, I take that philosophy very seriously. Reputation lays within the words I’m projecting and, therefore, needs to look sharp so the audience takes it seriously.
Think about it…if some dude rolled onto a stage and started babbling incoherently, would you take his words to heart? Absolutely not. Now, transfer that image in your head to a grammar-slaughtered Facebook post and ask yourself whether your readers will take it seriously. I’ll wait…
The ability to proofread is my favorite weapon in the arsenal and it’s at my disposal 24/7 as it is for you. It simply takes a high level of care for what you project to use it effectively. In an effort to clean up the Internet of poor grammar forever more, here are three easy practices you can implement immediately for tighter grammar output:
1) Read your content out loud – Whether it be a tweet, status update, blog post, website content, etc., carefully read what you just typed out loud before hitting submit. Hearing your words versus seeing them and, most likely, skimming over them, will help you catch unwanted, unnecessary errors.
2) Read your content backwards – Looking at your words in a different way can reveal glaring mistakes. Your mind knows what you want to say and will unwittingly trick you into believing everything looks good when it really doesn’t.
3) Walk away for a while – This applies more to blog posts and lengthier features. Once you finish, hit ‘save draft’ and walk away. I usually give myself 24 hours before I go back. After a big content creation binge, your mind won’t be as sharp when you proofread and, therefore, mistakes may be missed. Give your brain a rest, then come back fresh and discover how much easier it is to catch errors, improve sentence structure, and project your ideas in a more clear, concise manner. Plan accordingly so you can utilize this practice and still meet deadlines.