Seeing your own typos

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Guido
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Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:31 pm Post

Keith, while we all overlook typos during regular writing sessions, proof reading can be trained. I used to be a proof reader in my native Germany, in another life, and you can truly get to the point of proficiency that not a single typo will escape your notice.

However, it takes a lot of practice and most of all concentration. Most of the time you won't be able to do it for more than 30 minutes in a single stretch or you will start missing typos.

When it is time to proof materials, simply make sure you are relaxed and focus your mind on the task at hand. Don't let you thoughts stray and then go about it in relatively small intervals, maybe one or two pages at a time.
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Carradee
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Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:51 pm Post

I've found it helpful to change the layout, font, and text size to something you're not used to. Your brain's not as liable to filling in the blanks, so you catch more.

As folks have said, paper tends to work best--but in my case, I've noticed that tends to be if I prepared it on computer. If I prepared it as a hard copy, I'm more likely to see the typos on the computer... Though that might have more to do with my difficulty comprehending handwriting than any virtues of the computer screen.
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Jaysen
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Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:03 pm Post

Out of sheer boredom I did a text to speech (services, speech, start speaking) and boy was that … Let's just say I stopped it pretty quick. Not only did my gibberish get cleaned up but some of it was actually spelled right when I was done.
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Kendric
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Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:32 am Post

Its ususually hard for me to spot spot my own typos. I know what I meat to say, aftar al.

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PJS
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Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:15 pm Post

I do most of the already-suggested tricks -- change font, take a nap, hard copy, specs (several years ago I invested in a pair of prescription glasses set for around 21", my from-the-screen working range, a move which eased back and neck strain but did little to stop typos) -- but the most-likely-to-spot-a-typo drill is what I do anyway to get the "feel" of my writing: I read it aloud. Maybe theatrical background helps there; directors and playwrights have a way of telling you -- cries, screams, tantrums, eviction notices -- that you have not read what was on the page, so you learn to read exactly what's on the page, no matter how silly or stupid.

Back somewhere in the Silurian, when engineers were still using slide rules (does anyone else remember slide rules?), I was an editor for an engineering magazine, where an old (if he was old then, you can understand how ancient this idea is) editor told me that, when proof reading, the surest way to catch errors was to read back-to-front. Read the words entirely out of context and you'll have to look at what actually is on the page and not what your brain tells you probably is on the page. It still works, but is not much more useful than spell check, which I never trust anyway.

Vic: Did you mean oralgami, the oriental art of word folding?

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Tacitus
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Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:09 pm Post

Back somewhere in the Silurian, when engineers were still using slide rules (does anyone else remember slide rules?).....

Yes, this Civil Engineer remembers them well and, has a certain regret that school pupils were ever introduced to the pocket calculator. To use a slide rule well, you needed to acquire a grasp of number patterns which, in addition, helped when trying to understand mathematical concepts. The slide rule was an aid, the calculator is a crutch which breeds dependency.

Now watching adults perform the simplest calculations using a pocket calculator, makes me want to scream.... :)
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vic-k
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Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:48 pm Post

PJS wrote:Vic: Did you mean oralgami, the oriental art of word folding?
I`ll have to stop feeding you bunch of amateurs your punch lines. No matter how clever they are! :evil:
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Jacqi Corgan
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Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:04 pm Post

Amen, PJS! Reading copy backwards--up from the end of the story to the top--is a favorite typo-catching trick of mine, too. I picked it up from a sharp-eyed copy editor when I was a newspaper journalist. Reading the copy aloud is another, because it reveals not only the spelling errors, but awkward sentences, too. That's why it helps to have someone else to whom you can read your stuff; you not only get to hear whether your copy makes sense, but your listener might have some good constructive criticism.

Pity my poor husband! Now that I'm in solo practice, he's subjected to a lot of my legal work.
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Guido
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Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:10 pm Post

Jacqi Corgan wrote:Pity my poor husband! Now that I'm in solo practice, he's subjected to a lot of my legal work.


Which means he should be getting plenty of naps in during the day. ;-)
Gothic horror has a new hero! Follow Jason Dark in his exploits as he faces the horrors, the demons, the vampires, and every other diabolical monster imaginable on behalf of a more civilized world.

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Jacqi Corgan
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Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:14 am Post

Guido wrote:Which means he should be getting plenty of naps in during the day. ;-)


Lucky for me, Bill's a lawyer, too, so the legal work doesn't have a sedative effect! :mrgreen:
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vic-k
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Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:17 am Post

Jacqi Corgan wrote:Lucky for me, Bill's a lawyer, too, so the legal work doesn't have a sedative effect!
BILL?!!
You told us (the crew), that your old man`s name was Patrick Ivanovich :?
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Jacqi Corgan
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Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:02 pm Post

No, I didn't. I did say that he's Irish and Russian, though!
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vic-k
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Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:30 pm Post

:oops: oops! See. Even I can be wrong. :(
Fluff
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Kendric
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Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:05 pm Post

vic-k wrote::oops: oops! See. Even I can be wrong. :(
Fluff

I'm sure it was just a typo.

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Jacqi Corgan
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Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:43 pm Post

As am I! :)
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