‘Beautiful Baby’ Syndrome – How to Avoid Embarrassing Typos or Poor English

‘Beautiful Baby’ Syndrome – How to Avoid Embarrassing Typos or Poor English

Golden Rule: Never proofread your own material; you will only see what you think you have written.
 
You may have spent the best part of two or three days in front of a computer designing, drafting and rewriting your masterpiece. Whether it is a blog, an article, a presentation, a training workshop or a set of slides; we have many things that need mastery of the written word. Once complete, you have produced something you are very proud of but now you just want to get it out there.
 
Of course, there are the standard tools around including Word’s own basic review/editing options and extra apps such as Grammarly (other apps are available). Even so, these tools don’t pick up everything and there are none so blind as those who will not see!
 
We call it ‘Beautiful Baby’ syndrome. To a mother who has just spent nine months carrying a baby and gone through labour delivering it, it is the most beautiful baby in the world. Only a stranger can see it is less than perfect. Only a fresh pair of eyes can spot the imperfections in your perfect piece of prose.
 
So, ask someone whose input you value to proofread and suggest improvements. Remember, the ‘perfect blog/presentation/workshop’ has yet to be written or delivered. If you really don’t have access to anyone who can do this for you, at least print the whole thing out. I realise some people may feel this is a waste of paper in these lean and green times, however, in my experience, it is far easier to spot mistakes on paper rather than on screen.
 
Pay very close attention to slides, PowerPoint will not always highlight spelling mistakes in titles or upper case and there is nothing more embarrassing than seeing your typo magnified in all its erroneous glory on a 52-inch screen. I speak from bitter experience; it has happened to me on more than one occasion. Hence my mission in writing this blog now, I sacrifice myself on the altar of your magnificence!
 
If a typo does get through despite all your efforts (and let’s face it, there are folk out there who will drop on a typo faster than a vulture on carrion) do remain dignified. Congratulate the beady-eyed person who has spotted it, even if it is through gritted teeth. Relish the knowledge that they are paying close attention – and offer them the job of proofing your next creation.
 
Action Point: If some of your past pieces have thrown up embarrassing editorial issues in the past and you would like to avoid this in the future, get in touch for additional information or to arrange a chat with one of the Stratus team.