Proofreading and Editing in 2019

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Hi everyone! It’s my first time actually writing a blog post on this new platform and also the first time I’ve used WordPress’ new system of blocks, elements, etc so bear with me!

Firstly, perhaps it’s necessary to break down the difference between editing and proofreading.

  • Editing involves making changes and suggestions that will improve the general quality of work, in particular relating to language use, expression and quality. It includes fact checking and ENCOMPASSES proofreading.
  • Proofreading involves checking grammar, spelling, style, format and readability.

Let me address the NEED for proofreading and editing. Who needs these services?

  • Anyone writing a document for professional publication – an author, a journalist, someone producing marketing content.
  • Students producing research material.
  • Anyone who knows that language isn’t their strength but who needs to publish material – even on the internet!

Why do they need it?

  • It’s very difficult to proofread your own content. Your mistakes may be mechanical, you may not know what you are doing is wrong, and a second set of fresh eyes on a page is always a good thing.
  • Sometimes the educational institution or publishing house needs it.
  • It looks professional to say you’ve used someone (specially if they provide an editorial certificate, which I do).

Like many industries or services, in 2019 there is software that can or claims it can do proofreading and editing for you. Some of them are pretty good, too! However, language is such a variable tool that it’s very difficult for software to pick up on all the subtle nuances and inconsistencies. Developers of this software even need to make use of humans IN the development. For example in South Africa currently developers are working on an Afrikaans speech recognition software, and for this they have to employ many first language Afrikaans speakers to transcribe bits of audio. Obviously it’s unknown at this stage how good the software will be at the end of it, but at the very least I would still suggest anyone using it employs an Afrikaans proofreader to check their work. So while technology is moving along, humans will still be needed to test, develop, and oversee. And also – some people just prefer using a human being. And the quality of spelling and grammar (to me) seems to be at an all time low! So if you want to put out professional content – hire someone qualified.

Read more about the services I offer here.

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