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Correcting the pitfalls that stumble even vigilant word-makers

At Wellesley, Mass., A man handed a bank teller a note that said, "Give me your 10 and 20 and no die pack." Distracted by the spelling of "die pack For "dye pack" (a hidden device that stains money in red after a thief has left the bank), the cashier did not realize at the beginning that it was Was acting a scraping attempt.

After reading the note again, she crumpled, exasperated, and told the guy, "I do not give you money. Now, fuck yourself here. "And he snuck in.

Unfortunately, such fiascos occur every day. Buyers are disconcerted when they detect a typo on a website that seems to them to be obviously careless or ridiculous. In some cases, this is not the usual negligence or lack of effort that leads to mistakes. Instead, situations arise where even meticulous writers or editors find it difficult to catch mistakes.

By keeping an eye on these seed generators, you can keep your visitors focused on your purchases. Here are the seven situations most likely to cause typos that are difficult to catch.

7 replay traps

Updates. Suppose you want to relaunch a seasonal sales ad that worked well the year before. Many merchants simply find the message of last year and change the relevant dates. They forget to change the day of the week in the announcement, however, and when they re-read it before posting, they forget the gap. Whenever you reuse and update the previous copy, check it carefully. Make sure you have entered all the items that need to be changed.

Fixes of a problem. Here you tinker at the last minute with what you wrote, before posting or sending. You make a small change and you relax, not noticing that changing two words overturns the rest of the sentence. The last minute timing of this violin makes it more difficult to detect errors that you might have seen otherwise.

Titles. Ever seen incredible gags in newspaper headlines, like several referring to "Mayor Michael Bloobmerg" (he should have been "Bloomberg") or the involuntary joke in "An armed man applauds the kindness of strangers"? For one reason or another, we tend not to look too much at the wording of the largest font on the page when we replay.

Familiar sentences. "The reason we do not see our own typos is that what we see on the screen is competing with the version that exists in our heads," says psychologist Tom Stafford of the # 39, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. We know it since childhood, we tend not to notice a forgotten or mutilated word. This explains how six professional proofreaders might have missed "Being or Being" (instead of "Being or Not Being") in a new edition of Shakespeare's "Hamlet".

Numbers and specifications. Few readers know that "15 grams" should be "15 milligrams" or a lawnmower labeled as model A77134 should be A71134. The only way to verify the accuracy of these questions is to compare them to an authoritative source.

Company or brand names. Is it "Patek Phillippe", "Patek Philippe" or "Patek Phillipe"? It's too easy to go wrong. (The correct spelling is "Patek Philippe.") Confusion like that happened when someone listed a bottle of 1852 Allsopp's Arctic Ale on eBay as "Allsop's Arctic Ale" , with only one "p." The winning bid was $ 304. However, the buyer noticed the typo and put it back on eBay. With the correct spelling of the business, and so be picked up in online searches, this antique item quickly resold with a winning bid of over half a million dollars.

A misspelled eBay listing" Allsopp's Item Ale "as" Allsop "- a" p. "Collectors, looking for" Allsopp, "missed the list, which brought down its selling price. Source: New Life Auctions.

Instinctive corrections. Sometimes people make changes by re-reading because something just seems a mistake. For example, an employee of LL Bean has already changed the toll-free number of the company's printed catalog from a number beginning with "877" to the corresponding number beginning with "800". Everyone knows that toll-free numbers start with "800". seemingly think. This resulting incorrect phone number belonged to a Virginia corporation, however, not L.L. Bean. The Maine retailer had to pay quickly through the nose to buy the other company's number, so as not to lose sales from this catalog.

Catching Typos

In addition to staying on the lookout for the situations above, use the following simple but effective techniques to aid in finding and correcting errors.

Change the font or size. Highlight what you read again, and temporarily change the font from, say, Arial to Times Roman, or from 12 points to 32 points. This makes the label less familiar, so that errors appear more easily.

Print it. Rereading text on paper rather than on the screen also allows you to pay attention to how the words actually appear, rather than what you thought was written.

Wait a day – or a few hours. Taking a break is especially useful when you are both the author and the proofreader. After a delay, you approach the text with a cooler attention.

Point to every word. On paper, point to each word with a finger or pen as you slowly read. On a screen, point word by word with the cursor. In any case, you slow down and you notice more easily dropped letters, missing words and other small errors.

Read aloud. When I recorded audio books by reading printouts aloud, typos were brought to my attention that I had previously failed to spot in several replay rounds. It's just how much reading aloud is able to catch mistakes.

Get a computer read. A program or text-to-speech application also makes the errors more obvious because the computer can only transmit what has actually been written, and not what some supposed to be there. Expect troubling moments – and laughable pronunciation errors – as you listen. Often, you will hear typos that you may not have seen.

Use a third party. Have someone outside of the writer be responsible for the final check. As with many other methods, assigning someone to reread who has not written or edited a passage breaks the charm of familiarity.

Beware of Spellcheck, Automatic Correction

Above all, do not rely on spellcheck and do not allow your computer to automatically correct supposed errors. Author E.S. Gaffney confessed once that when she was working for the US Department of Energy, she had to submit a proposal to a man with the Prono surname. Without his permission, his computer corrected that name for … well, you guessed it. Imagine how easily automatic correction could destroy an online store selling items and brands with unusual spellings!

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