In the spirit of back-to-school season, this is a blog about proofreading. As an editor, I may be a little hypersensitive to this topic, but I honestly think we all should be, particularly in business. A typo or spelling error doesn’t only make a company look foolish, it can result in big financial losses as well.
You don’t need to look very far to come across someone’s embarrassing mistake. If you live in Sarpy County, you’ve probably been anticipating the arrival of the Shoppe’s on Giles for years now, if only in the hopes they will correct the possessive (and drop the superfluous “pe” at the end). This week, students at Millard West were issued parking passes for Millard West High Scool. Meanwhile, the marquee at the Runza near 72nd and Pacific reads, “If you don’t like Runza, your lying.” Your lying what, exactly? A few blocks from there, a restaurant called Cilantro’s just opened. I’m sorry, but unless the place is owned by a guy named Cilantro, we’ve got a bit of a problem. Particularly, since the print ads for the restaurant often leave off the apostrophe. I guess that’s why their name isn’t Consistency’s.
It’s not always about grammar. Also near 72nd and Pacific, there are two billboards for Children’s Hospital saying that it’s “the best place for kids.” Did no one argue that “the best care for kids” might be a better word choice, or do they really think that the best place for kids is the hospital? I guess it’s better than the day care called Children’s Heaven, but not much. After all, these same billboards also make it appear that the top of the child model’s head has been cut off and clumsily reattached.
I realize that everyone makes mistakes, and I’m probably setting myself up for scrutiny — I promise, you won’t have to dig to deep to find some skeletons in my grammatical closet 😉 – but that’s why it’s vital to have a second set of eyes on everything you do. I feel so fortunate to work with people who are as passionate – and pedantic – about avoiding these silly, costly and humiliating little mistakes as I am, and it just boggles my mind that no one at Bic South Africa, for example, decided to think like an editor when they ran this ad earlier this week.