Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Big Clue Brick

The results of the Aerandria Proofreader tests were horrible. Horrible to the point I didn't want to open another test file.

Applicants were failing for such a basic reason I still can't believe it: They didn't indicate their corrections/changes. They didn't use something like "Record Changes" in MS-Word. They didn't change the color of the corrected text in RTF. They didn't underline, bracket with symbols, nothing.

Every time you get a test or essay back from a teacher it's marked with a blue pencil or a red pen, isn't it? To show you where you got it wrong, right?

I'm dropping a Big Clue Brick on you right now: We need to see what changes you have made. Be it mispelling, bad grammar, missing punctuation, improper word choice or obscure cultural whatsit, we need to see what it is. Not just to show you know so we know you know, but so we won't make the same mistake again. Proofreading is not just to produce clear and readable copy. Proofreading is to help the Translator, the Editor, the Typesetter and the Readers.

Highlighting the errors helps the Translators improve their English. Correcting mispelled words makes it more enjoyable for the Readers and keeps whoever's Typesetting from breaking into a sweat. Simplified grammar also helps the Typesetter squeeze those big words into those little narrow bubbles. Dealing with cultural mores helps the editors in charge makes policy decisions on how to treat such things in the future.

So show us what you're doing. So this way we'll know that you know that we know what you know and we'll know we're getting a good script.

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