This post originally appeared April 4, 2011
CAN YOU READ THIS?
if yuo can raed tihs, you hvae a sgtrane mnid, too.
Can you raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.
i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
I don’t know about you, but after I’ve worked on a manuscript for weeks, months, even years, I become so close to the work that I cannot look at it objectively anymore. As you witnessed with the above example, your eye will see a misspelled word or a typo and your brain registers the word that it’s supposed to be.
A Seattle newspaper reported a story about a new ramp at the ferry terminal that was operated by a "system of wenches." (Those serving girls moonlighting after handing out grog at Ye Olde English Tavern?) Oops!
A Michigan county had to spend $40,000 reprinting ballots after the "L" was left out of the word "public." A big Oops!
There are many more reasons to hire an independent editor, but these are good ones.
Even editors need editing! It’s invaluable to have another pair of eyes look at your work. It’s surprising what they’ll pick up. And you certainly don’t want your manuscript tossed because of a typo on the first page!
Do you have your favorite public typo story?
A native Montanan, Heidi M. Thomas now lives in Northwest Washington. Her first novel, Cowgirl Dreams, is based on her grandmother, and the sequel, Follow the Dream, has recently won the national WILLA Award. Heidi has a degree in journalism, a certificate in fiction writing, and is a member of Northwest Independent Editors Guild. She teaches writing and edits, blogs, and is working on the next books in her “Dare to Dream” series.