Monday, 17 December 2012

Simple Typos and Punctuation Mistakes to Lose Fast.

I started reading an article about SEO this morning and came across ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ in the first paragraph.  All too easy to do when you’re trying to publish things quickly.

Careless would be more accurate than stupid, but I have to confess that I immediately stopped reading as this is something that everyone needs to concentrate on more; editing, editing and re-editing.

Two mistakes found all too often (and I’ll hold my hand up as well, I’ve done it also) are using ‘your’ as in ‘your car’, instead of ‘you’re’ as in ‘you are’.
and even worse:
‘They’re’ as in ‘they are’
instead of ‘their’ as in ‘it belongs to them’ or ‘there’ as in ‘over there’.

These words all have totally different meanings.  We can accept if someone whose natural language isn’t English makes this kind of mistake (just) but not, surely, if it’s a writer wanting to sound professional about a serious subject.

Having written several books which not only I but my editor edited and re-read several times and still found typos once published I know only too well how easy it is.  And there will always be typos.

But my advice is to read and re-read anything you intend to publish.  And if necessary get someone else to read as well.  And look out for your and you’re and their and they’re and there and whose and who’s and there are far too many more to mention.

Read Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss for more mistakes most of us make. 

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