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The impotance of being proofread

By Karin Fuller

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- My husband is an editor, for which I'm so grateful.

He's prevented me from shaving myself publicly many times.

I mean, shaming myself.

And there's another editor or two who looks over my stuff before it appears in the paper, a necessity for those who trip over words the way I sometimes do.

Still, I love a good typo. Love them so much I've been saving some of my favorites for the past several years. I especially love the ones that turn what should've been a perfectly innocent sentence into something lewd.

A secretary in a law office sent an email to hundreds of participants who had registered for a conference to inform them of the different workshops that would be available. Her announcement said they would have "sex sessions." She meant "six."

You would think those seeking employment would put the most effort into proofreading their resumes and applications, making certain they're flawless. That isn't the case. After CNN Money's Ask Amy column ran a story about typos on resumes, they were flooded with examples.

One man "directed $25 million anal shipping and receiving operations."

Another claimed to be "great with the pubic."

A resume bragged about being, "Instrumental in ruining the entire operation for a Midwest chain store." While another said they'd "received a plague for Salesperson of the Year."

A secretarial job applicant reported herself as being "a fat and accurate typist." Another applicant hit the space bar at all the wrong times when reporting that her previous employer, a psychotherapist, was "psycho the rapist."

Under job duties: "Filing, billing, printing and coping."

And under education: "I have a bachelorette degree in computers."

One listed that she had "good profreading skills" and could demonstrate her "ability in multi-tasting." Another's current duties included, "Answering phones, filing papers, responding to customer emails, and taking odors."

A medical transcriptionist reported that her company's voice recognition software automatically changed words in ways that were funny. For instance, instead of typing, "For erectile dysfunction, Cialis," it altered the text to read, "For erectile dysfunction, see Alice."

One woman reported that her friend went to a job recruitment fair and handed out about 30 copies of her resume before realizing she had listed her degree as "Bachelor o Farts."

When trying to compliment a co-worker for his excellent report, a woman wrote in her email that it was an "excrement report."

Careful editing is more important for reasons other than just saving face. It can actually save a life. Consider the importance of a simple comma. Instead of, "Let's eat Grandma" it's "Let's eat, Grandma." Or "If anyone's wants to eat my husband could make a great stew."

As my editor husband likes to say, "When it comes to proofreading, the red penis your friend."

Reach Karin Fuller at karinfuller@gmail.com.


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