Welcome to this week’s Proofreading Roundup, in a week when a streaming-service movie won the Best Director Oscar at the Academy Awards, the disturbing online phenomena (and moral panic) of Momo hit the headlines, and the World Bridge Federation suspended Geir Helgemo after he failed a random drug test.
This week’s weird words
A proofreader without a vast vocabulary is at a considerable disadvantage. So, every week we’ll be introducing you to some of the more unusual words to grace the English language.
This week’s tricky words
Even exemplary proofreaders have their little blind spots. The No-Nonsense Proofreading Course provides a comprehensive list of the tricky words that can trip up even the most experienced proofreader. Here are just three of them:
This week’s proofreading exercise
From Seller of the Sky by Dave Dryfoos.
"It's winter, my boy. We'd freeze."
"You've said it's pretty in winter! You took the money for the certificate."
"I suppose you'll grow away from your parents soon anyhow; I suppose you have to.... Get your warmest clothes and meet me at emergency exit four."
My grandfather talked it over with his sister Annie and of course they didn't have any warm clothes, but they'd heard so often from Old Arch about the cold that they put on two sets of tights apiece, and two pairs of socks, and then they hunted for the emergency exit.
They'd never been there before. They didn't know anyone who had. The signs pointing to it were all worn and defaced.
And it was a long way to go. After a while Annie began to hang back.
"How do we know the exit will work?" she asked. "And how will we get back in if we ever do get out?"
"You don't have to come," my grandfather said. "But you'll have to find your own way home from here."
"I'll bet I could," she said. "But I'm not going to. I don't think Old Arch will even be at the exit."
But he was.
He looked at them carefully to see how they were dressed. "You mean trouble for me, girl," he told Annie. "They'll think I took you along to make love to."
She had just reached that betwixt and between stage where she was beginning to look like a woman but didn't yet think like one. "Pooh!" she said. "I can run faster and hit harder than you can, Arch. You don't worry me a bit."
Old Arch sighed and led them through the lock. They stepped out into a raging snowstorm, which soon draped a cloak of invisibility over them.
Neither my grandfather nor Annie had ever smelled fresh air before. It threatened to make them drunk. Their nostrils tingled and their eyes misted over and they’re breath steamed up like bathwater. For the first time in their lives, they shivered.
When the City was out of sight in the storm, they stopped for a moment in the ankle-deep snow and just listened. They held their breaths and heard silence for the first time in their lives.
Old Arch reached down and picked up some soft snow and threw it at them. They pelted him back, and then, because he was so old, attacked each other instead, shouting and throwing snowballs and running aimlessly.
Old Arch soon checked them. "Don't get lost," he said. "We're walking downhill. Don't forget that. We're going into a draw where there are some trees."
He coughed and drew his rags about him. "The city is up hill," he said. "If you keep walking around it, you'll find a way in."
His tone was frightening. Annie clung to my grandfather and made him walk close to the old man. It was clear the old man didn't have enough clothes on. He staggered and leaned hard on my grand father.
They kept moving down the slight grade. They saw no sky and little of anything else. The snow was like a miniature of the City's dome, except that this dome floated over them as they walked. Its edges were only about fifty yards off.
"Where are the Outsiders?" my grandfather asked. "Aren't there people here?"
"They're miles away," Arch told him. "And indoors. Only fools and youngsters are out in this blizzard."
"Fool’s is right," Annie said tartly. "There was supposed to be sky. And there isn't."
If you have any comments, I'd love to hear them. You can leave them below.
I hope to see you back here, next week, for another Proofreading Course Weekly Roundup.
If you’re considering a career in proofreading, you might want to consider my great-value proofreading course. Click here for details.
I always try to make these blog entries useful and entertaining. I try to avoid self-promotion. But this time, I can't resist. Sometimes, you've just got to boast.
The No-Nonsense Proofreading Course now comes with over 1,000 pages of give-aways.
Over 1,000 pages!
There. I just needed to let that out.
I feel much better now.
Oh, here's a picture:
A couple of blog entries ago, I advised you to visit writing forums, offering your proofreading services free of charge, in exchange for glowing testimonials to plaster all over your website and promotional literature. Well, here’s another potential wellspring of free proofreading exercises and testimonials: Constant Content.
Constant Content is a free-to-join website where freelance writers can sell their articles and pick up article-writing assignments. Constant Content has a very high editorial standard and articles are routinely rejected due to errors or plain poor writing.
All you need to do is join up. Pop along to the forum (which you’ll need to join separately) and offer your services. Make it perfectly clear that you are a budding proof reader and you are offering your services gratis, otherwise you are likely to be viewed as a spammer attempting to drum-up business.
This is a great opportunity to get your teeth into some real proofreading work whilst accumulating those all-important testimonials (the kind of testimonials which are likely to guarantee you paying work in the not-so-distant future). There is a massive variety of articles, across a broad range of topics. Fast turnaround is essential as articles are often written to demand with deadlines looming.
Best of luck.
Click here to go to Constant Content.
“I am one of those many fools who paid a huge amount of money for a useless course. This book... has opened so many doors for me. I now look on Mike as my mentor as I embark on a career. Thank you Mike.”
Emma Steel, Proofreader and International Structural Editor.
“ I thoroughly enjoyed the course and am so glad that I decided to take it... the whole experience was invaluable. My proofreading service is now well established and your course played no small part in getting it off the ground.”
Hache L. Jones, Proofreader.
“I'd just like to thank you first of all for writing such a great, straight forward eBook, and then going above and beyond what I would even expect as a customer by providing us, completely free of charge, updated versions months later!”
Rachel Gee, Trainee Proofreader.
“What can I say? Worth every penny and then some! God Bless! This a fabulous course.”
Teresa Richardson, Proofreader.
“As someone who has effectively been proofreading for thirty years, I found Mike’s No-Nonsense Proofreading Course an invaluable introduction and a very useful practical guide to many aspects of this discipline. I can wholeheartedly recommend it as the ideal starting point, and much more besides.”
Jeremy Meehan, Proofreader.
My name's Mike Sellars and I'm an experienced proofreader and the author of The No-Nonsense Proofreading Course. Click here to find out more about me.
The No-Nonsense Proofreading Course
A Fraction of the Cost of Other Proofreading Courses
NOTE: Stock is currently limited to 10 per day, so we can continue to deliver exceptional after-sales service, answer queries and provide open-door support.
Credit card and PayPal payments accepted.
“As someone who has been proofreading for 30 years, I found Mike’s course an invaluable introduction and a very useful practical guide to many aspects of the discipline. I can wholeheartedly recommend it.” Jeremy Meehan, Proofreader.
Still want to find out more? Click here.