Proofreading vs. editing - What's the difference?
When proofreading, a text is checked with regards to correct and consistent spelling as well as to proper grammar and punctuation.
When editing, stylistic improvements are made to ensure smooth reading.
When placing your order, you can tell me whether you want me to edit or proofread your text and which kind of changes you want me to do additionally (e.g. condense the text, identify content-related inconsistencies etc.).The two terms are often used as synonyms due to the similar meaning. To make reading easier, I will use the term editing for both in the following.
Good reasons for proofreading/editing
Editing translations, presentations, essays, business correspondence, etc. is worthwhile and shows your sense of responsibility.
Having a text checked is not about blaming oneself or other people for making mistakes. It is about a realistic assessment of the abilities of the human brain – and these are pretty fascinating! Our brain is able to add words where they are missing or blank them out where they are redundant. It can put transposed letters into the right order without us even noticing it. The following text is a good example:
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit prbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
It is this fascinating skill of our brains that can deceive us, especially when we already know what the text is
about. However, automatic spelling and grammar checks in word processing programs are not one hundred percent reliable either, because languages are complex systems in which not every part of a sentence can be assigned to a specific rule, because exceptions to the rules are anything but rare.
Many words, for example, have several meanings which is why a context-based assessment of their embedding into a text is very important. But ambiguities are just one of many reasons. This is why you should always have a text doublechecked by machines AND another person.
Why you can even save money
It’s simple: mistakes cost money.
This is not only true for companies but also for individuals, e.g. …
… because you might receive a worse score if you miss too many mistakes.
… because HR might regard you as inattentive due to incorrect spelling.
… because a big customer might not consider your company’s product/service due to faulty product descriptions.
… because a whole batch of leaflets might have to be reprinted due to a gross error.
And even if mistakes do not always cost money, you can definitely save time and nerves by sending me your texts for revision.
How does it work?
You send me one or several texts and specify the kind of revision you want me to do.
I have a look at the text and provide you with a cost estimate.
You are free to place your order or ask further questions.
Once confirmed, I will start editing…
… and send you the final version together with the invoice.
You pay the invoice via bank transfer.
Do you have questions or feedback? I am looking forward to your call/mail. Customer satisfaction is my top priority!