In case the Mitt Romney campaign’s unfortunate “Amercia” mistake wasn’t bad enough, the Romney copy editors missed another one yesterday and published a Facebook ad promoting a “sneak-peak” of an upcoming TV commercial.
The campaign quickly resolved both typos, but unfortunately, on the internet, mistakes never die.
Even if you’re not a presumptive presidential nominee, spelling mistakes can reduce your credibility at work—and can be just downright embarrassing.
So, whether you’re sending an email to your boss, writing your resume, or, you know, creating a national campaign, use these quick tips to avoid easily avoidable mistakes.
Mittens, this is for you:
Always turn on spell check, but don’t rely on it completely—as Team Mitt learned the hard way, it won’t catch correctly spelled words in the wrong place.
Read out loud to yourself. If you say the words out loud, you’ll be forced to actually read each word, instead of skipping over them.
When you’ve been looking at something for a while, your eyes tend to skim over the words, not read them closely. So, get a new set of eyes on it. Ask a colleague to read your work over. Or, take a break, go do something else, then come back and read it half an hour later.
Read it backward. If you’re finding yourself skimming even after you’ve stepped away—or you just plain don’t have time to leave it for half an hour—read the last sentence, then the second-to-last sentence, and so forth. When the “flow” of the paragraph is broken up, you’re more likely to notice if one of those sentences actually contains an error.
According to Daily Writing Tips, “people read differently on screen and on paper.” If you’ve been reading something on screen, print it out and proof the hard copy. If you’ve been looking at a hard copy, check out a PDF.