Category Archives: Proofing and Editing

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Proofing and Editing

EriktheReady – for all copywriting, proofreading, and light and substantive editing requirements, business press releases, advertising copy – in fact any business and product-identifying copy.

EriktheReady’s mission is to provide a professional service that is quick and easy to use.

A service that will enable small and large businesses to have confidence that all published matter is relevant, accurate and easily readable.

Poor grammar, punctuation and spelling, which is not everyone’s particular strength, can damage the credibility of any offering. Generally unnoticed by many there will be those for whom such inaccuracies will be important when deciding on the credibility of what is being offered.  

EriktheReady also writes, proofreads and edits INSTRUCTIONS.
The great majority of instructions appear to be written by the creators of the product. Products with which they are intimately involved and that they use intuitively. In-house jargon, and the assumption that the buyer knows things (…everyone knows that…?) can be seriously confusing to the purchaser using the product for the first time.

Good examples are:
•Electronics – when the instructions assume the user KNOWS to save each step and the instructions do not clearly state how to do this (press MENU, for example).
•Flat-pack furniture and other items needing assembly often have the most rudimentary, even misleading, instructions. This results in items being mutilated due to the frustration of the user.

ABOUT EriktheReady’s
    …proof reading, editing and instructional experience.

I have always enjoyed writing and have an eye for detail.

During my time as proof reader for a typesetting company my accuracy and careful work was rated excellent and it was something I enjoyed doing.  I, and the company, received many compliments from clients after I spotted errors and suggested rewrites.

As part of my military service I was taught to instruct and compile instructions in an environment where peoples’ lives could depend on the accuracy of the instructions.

As a civilian I have been required to do proofing and editing for my employers and write instructions on equipment supplied to our customers. This was in addition to delivering lectures on the equipment we supplied – both in-house and to clients.

The EriktheReady focus is be on the use of simple, expressive phrasing that can be understood and appreciated by anyone who uses the English language. I am confident that a top notch service is always provided.

Here are two reviews posted to my FaceBook page by two of my clients – the first, Anita, is in Santiago, Chile.

13 March

Thank you for your patience and engagement to my projects as if they were your own. 

Check out the website:

Masaya Nagayasu reviewed Erik The Ready5 star

13 June at 10:39

For more information, contact

Proofreading – an analogy

During a discussion with friends on this subject we touched on why proofreading is so necessary. I love using analogy and I have created a forest analogy for this subject…

When you write a story, a report, copy for an advertisement or website or any other prose YOU are the one who KNOWS what you want to say.

Knowing what you want to say and having it planned out in your mind can be the very thing that will lead to the need for an objective review of your document by someone else – someone who specialises in being objective when viewing written work.

Doing your own copy is a bit like making a trail through the forest alone. As you press on through the undergrowth so the branches and twigs spring back behind you. By the next day, to the untrained eye, the trampled grass shows little or no trace of your passage.

The sign of course is still there and the expert tracker will be able to follow your trail with little effort. He will note broken twigs and grasses bent or twisted the wrong way. The faint boot heel imprint between two tussocks of grass. From these and other signs the track can be found.

Suppose you have walked through your patch of forest and come out at your destination but next day you find yourself at the same place as you were previously. “I have been here before”, your mind whispers, “and I can find my way through this wood again – the way I went yesterday was easy”.

Recognising a big oak you walk in under that tree and proceed through the forest. Every so often you may see a tree and think that yesterday it looked a bit different but…it is the same tree. After a while you are not so sure about your route being exactly the same as before but you know the direction is correct and eventually you emerge. You look around and see that today you have actually come out twenty metres or so to one side of where you broke out yesterday.

“That’s OK,” you think, feeling quite satisfied.

That evening you may even tell your friends that you found yourself having to traverse the wood again but you came out almost exactly where you did before, no problem.

How does this relate to proofreading? Well, on your second or third read through, those familiar trees and other landmarks you saw on subsequent traverses of the woodland, are the errors that you pick up when you re-read your text. The landmarks that you missed or that seemed different are the errors you did NOT see or recognise.

If you want to follow the EXACT route through the woods – in other words find all the errors (the elusive landmarks) – you would need the services of an expert tracker who will follow the original course. On the way he will find slightly easier routes around thorn bushes, over the odd ditch and so on.

The tracker will blaze the trail, marking it so that it can be used repeatedly and everyone will be able to follow precisely the same course in future. A trail will have been created. A finished product.


A good proofreader will not only find small errors of spelling and grammar but will suggest edits to the copy that will make it easier to read. He will follow your trail, picking up rubbish, routing around obstacles and generally making your copy look and read effortlessly.

I love writing and I enjoy proofing and editing but when I do my own writing I cannot afford the luxury of a proofreader – I rely on my wife, and a close friend who is on the other side of the world, to read my website copy when I publish it. They pull me up on errors and I have to go back and edit and, for the moment, that works for me.

This does not excuse my errors. In fact it is a bit embarrassing to have them pointed out to me. It does highlight the fact that, even though I am a proofreader, my mind tricks me into NOT seeing the detail – the real trail – but just seeing the intended outcome which is what my mind wants to see because that is what it, my mind, planned.

Your work, however, is being presented for thousands of people to read. It must persuade those many readers that YOUR product, book or other project is reflective of quality and professionalism. That your work is worth the asking price.

Gnash Gnash mutter…

I made a decision a while ago – stop going after the mutilators of the language.

Stop being an apostrophe policeman, a spelling policeman and a pronunciation policeman but the latest thing to intrude has caused me to snap, to break my word to myself!

It started with the apostrophe – and I know there is, of late, a lot of controversial debate around it slowly being accepted to indicate a plural… WHAT!? I scream silently inside my head, WHAT?

Then another of my favourites popped up this morning BREAK being used instead of BRAKE to stop something. Come ON people!

Of course THESE always jar the senses and are so common, as if thrown at the page to land where they will. Rather like too much confetti at a traditional wedding, these words get in everywhere, every day. THESE are… their/there (and even they’re), your/you’re, cant/can’t, his/he’s, whose/who’s and perhaps a few others that don’t come to mind immediately.

A few years ago I had to consciously give up on entrepreneur. The imaginative pronunciations were myriad – and they all grated!

Then there were JANYEWRY and FEBYEWRY and JILL-EYE – a long time ago it seems, the first two months of the year lost an R and the U in July was somehow subsumed by an I….still the case.

Anyway, just as I had settled down and thought myself at last immunised against all these irritations along comes the latest – and it is all over the radio and in television voice-overs.

It is TUMOURIC! For something that is supposed to be beneficial to one’s health and well-being, making it sound like something life-threatening, cancerous even, is awful!

TURMERIC is pronounced as it is written see this link – and the Oxford dictionary gives this definition and includes  an audio file so that it can be listened to.

If you don’t want to look it up then:
TUR as in FUR, TURD, STIR or BURR. The letter R appears TWICE and should be sounded TWICE!

Rant over….for now, as I try to come to terms with this latest affront to my (English language) sensibilities.

Of course this is a generalisation. It is really about those who insist on using such poor language in promoting their businesses, or other agendas, with official announcements and texts. Language that is then inflicted upon the listening and reading public – the target audience for their wares.

My rant therefore is for those who could REALLY use the services of someone specialising in proofreading, editing and copywriting. For everyone else perhaps my thoughts are merely an amusement…there goes another language nutter?

Spell check

Excerpt from:

Island Life, (about Marion Island) by Tiara Walters in Lifestyle Magazine (Sunday Times), 27 March 2011

This excerpt is from a premier South African Sunday newspaper. The article is about Marion Island in the South Atlantic. It references an interaction with an Antarctic fur seal. So sad that no-one checks these columnists work and that they appear to rely on Spell check – which is notoriously literal and unable to discriminate when picking words.

…..and flourishes her walking stick to ward off an Antarctic fur seal as it galumphs towards us, barking and bearing its teeth and looking anything but cute.

I have been bearing (I have borne…), my teeth all my life but when I show them, whether to grin or grimace, I bare them – the seal would have been baring its teeth pretty much like the one in the picture?


I was looking at a news report the other day and found this gem of a leader:

XYZ posted photographs taken by XYZ photographer John Doe showing commuters hanging out of trains and even hanging onto the roofs in their desperation to reach their destination on Facebook.

…and I wondered about the destination on Facebook that they could be headed for. 

Grammar and punctuation matter so this would have been better perhaps…

XYZ posted photographs on Facebook, taken by XYZ photographer John Doe, showing commuters hanging out of trains and even hanging onto the roofs in their desperation to reach their destination.