“There were grammatical errors even in his silence.”
I’m on record that the hardest of all the technical aspects of writing, for me, is finding and discarding typos.
It isn’t a matter of poor typing (no court stenographer, I) or missing le mot juste. It is about seeing, or NOT seeing, to be exact.
Here are some helpful hints from wise and experienced people who write. These suggestions apply to proofreading one’s own writing. For some reason proofreading another’s is much easier, and may not necessitate all the techniques below. But for my own writing I find that I need all of them, twice.
· Enable mechanical spell/grammar check programs, but don’t count on them nor follow slavishly
· Read out loud, correcting on the spot
· Change the font and font size, and re-read
· Put away in the drawer and re-read a few days/weeks later
· Get a kindly friend to read and correct, specifically one who is a good proofreader
Obviously the last two suggestions can’t be practical for sending quick Emails or posting replies on chat boards. The last one, enlisting another pair of eyes, should only be called upon for the most important writing, as you’ll risk running out of friends.
And here’s the kicker: even after all that^, let go of the idea of perfection. The average number of typos in published books by major publishers is seven per book. Those were read by editors and line editors.
Doing what I can… Good luck.