I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I thought I was infallible, once.
I was an arrogant little bastard, to be sure.
I didn’t think what I wrote was perfect, but I was pretty sure my spelling and grammar were dead on, every single time.
While they’re pretty good, no one’s perfect. Even you, and especially not me.
If you want to be taken seriously, no matter what you do, and no matter to whom you’re presenting something you’ve written: please, for the love of all that is holy, proofread your work.
Then proofread it again.
If you’re lucky enough to have several people around you, in whose judgment you unreservedly trust, ask them to look it over.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing an angry screed for a “Letter to the Editor” column, or penning copy for your own classified ad in your local paper. Everything reads better, and attracts more people to it, when it’s proofread.
Yes, even blog entries. And tweets. And Facebook status updates. No, I’m not suggesting you have those tiny bits of ephemera professionally edited, but I am suggesting you give them a second glance before you hit “Send.”
Once they’re gone, you can’t get them back. Sure, you can delete them, but a) nothing’s ever truly deleted from the Intarwebs, and b) someone may already have seen them before you’ve deleted them, and the damage will already have been done.
As a rule, I don’t think I’m better than anyone else. But I do reserve the right to laugh at you if you can’t respect your readers – and the language in which you write – enough to proof your copy. I also don’t think that’s too much to ask.
If you think this sounds bitchy, I don’t care. Hopefully, it ticks you off enough that you remember it, take it to heart in a fit of utter pique, and write the most letter-perfect things in your life.
You’ll get more job offers, land more customers, and generally attract more people with your written words when they’re spelled and punctuated correctly.
Be as annoyed as you like; you know I’m right.