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Give Your Copy the Finger


Now, come on: you know that's not what I mean. This is a trick for copyediting that might come in handy, especially if you've written something in a hurry but it has to be perfect.


This is what newspaper editors do to make sure they don't have a highly embarrassing misspelled word in a headline. It's a good technique for proofreading blurbs and subheads on an important memo for the office, or a sales brochure.


Take what you've written, and run your index finger underneath it, from left to right, starting with the first line, and continuing to the bottom. As your finger zooms along underneath the words, your eyes should be zooming along, too, checking for accuracy, and your brain should be speed-reading your text to make sure it's OK.


It's a great way to catch typographical errors and missing words. There's something about the multisensory approach - combining your sense of touch in the movement of your finger with your sense of sight as you read - that's a powerful polisher of written words.


By Susan Darst Williams Grammar Granny 024 2006


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