Some weeks go by and my clients all disappoint me by being so clever; I don’t feel needed.
This week was better than usual and I was able to prove my worth. See my top 10 proofreading catches below.
- ‘Pubic’ instead of ‘public’. (Seriously, I suspected that this was one of those gaffes that rarely occur in real life…and then I found an example twice in a week. One of the documents was going directly to a senior government minister, and the error was in the opening paragraph. Lucky.)
- ‘Peak’ instead of ‘pique’. From someone who’s more aurally inclined.
- ‘Optimises’ when we needed ‘epitomises’. Not common but this isn’t the first time I’ve picked up this one this month.
- ‘Predominately’ rather than ‘predominantly’. This one is so common, I do a search for it before I start reading through the entire copy deck.
- ‘Per say’ instead of ‘per se’. Not used that often so it’s understandable that someone who’s only ever heard the phrase wouldn’t know how to spell it. I have the benefit of four years of Latin so I shouldn’t be too smug.
- ‘Brought’ instead of ‘bought’.
- ‘Conjour’ instead of ‘conjure’. No idea…really. Maybe they’re writing with a French accent.
- ‘Tenants’ instead of ‘tenets’. This may have been a spell-checking error so that client gets the benefit of the doubt.
- ‘Compliment’ rather than ‘complement’. This is one of those words that pays my mortgage. Very few writers, even when they know the difference, get this one right. I love finding this error…it’s like an old friend.
- ‘Premise’ instead of ‘premises’ “…because it’s only one business”. That client received a photocopy of the dictionary definition (and she still insisted on keeping ‘premise’). It’s sad because I can’t put that piece of writing and proofreading in my portfolio.
Well, that’s all for this week. Do you have any words that you trip over regularly?