[Proof]reading is fundamental

73f9b25cebd0c78a7aac372a95c753b8If you are a fan of HBO’s Sex and the City, then you probably know the episode, “Attack of the Five Foot Ten Woman.” The episode focuses on women making other women feel bad about themselves. Carrie Bradshaw, the main character, feels especially inferior in the shadow of her ex-boyfriend’s new love interest, Natasha, a former model. Natasha is well connected, stylish, and rich. Even though Carrie is a successful columnist, with unique beauty and great friends, she harbors thoughts of inadequacy. Carrie jumps through hoops to prove herself, going so far as to show up at a luncheon that Natasha is supposedly attending. Dressed to the nines, Carrie arrives only to find out that Natasha is absent. After spending a lot of money and one too many nights wallowing in self pity, something magical happens. Carrie receives a thank you note from Natasha for attending the aforementioned luncheon.

Natasha’s handwritten note has an embarrassing spelling error: “Sorry I couldn’t be their.” All of a sudden, Carrie’s anxiety disappears. She laughs and realizes that the woman can’t even spell.  Natasha mixed up their and there. Their is a possessive pronoun (possessive of they). It always describes a noun. Thus, the sentence doesn’t make sense. Natasha should have written “Sorry I couldn’t be there.” There is an adverb meaning “that location.”

Is Natasha uneducated? No, but that minor spelling error crushed her credibility, at least in Carrie’s eyes. Whether you’ve written a thank you note, a Facebook post, or a personal blog, you should review it before putting it out for the world to see. By review, I mean spell check, fact check, and grammar check. Recently, I came across an absolutely tragic blog.  Each post contained meaningless colloquialisms in place of real adult words. There were numerous typographical errors, blatant misinformation, and broken paragraphs made up of poorly structured sentences. Speaking of colloquialisms, this particular blog is what young people call basic. In fact, it was so basic, that I had to share it. I sent the link to a friend of mine who manages her own professional website and blog. Her response was, “Ugh, just an amateur adding more noise to an already loud world.”  Sadly, the author of the awful blog probably thinks they are making a vibrant contribution to our global society. To be blunt, erroneous writings fail to have real purpose, they also make the author seem incompetent and amateurish.

Growing up, I constantly heard the mantra, “Take the time, haste makes waste.” Those words will ring true for eternity, because being hasty in writing  can make you look like a fool. Of course, I am not perfect. No one is perfect. I have made mistakes in writing. I also understand that some individuals struggle with dyslexia, which can make writing and proofreading very challenging.  While none of us are immune to the occasional spelling or grammar error,  I happen to be allergic to carelessness. I have the feeling that “Awful Blog Author,” and quite a few others, disregard that what they’ve published online is totally muddled and it comes across as carelessness because every modern tech device has a spell check feature! After writing this post, I saw the squiggly, red line under each word that was misspelled…obviously I went back and fixed my mistakes.

If you wish to get your point across, maintain professionalism, and contribute meaningful content to the universe, do yourself a favor: PROOFREAD.