Phantom Proofreader sticky-note
Phantom Proofreader sticky-note (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I don’t usually ‘do’ poetry. It’s not really my thing, however a friend posted a poem on my facebook page and I remembered that back in the distant past (2012 I think) I wrote this tongue in cheek set of guidelines for proof readers.
With apologies to serious poets everywhere, I present,
The Proofreader’s Poem
If you’re the kind whose writing flows
from word to word in perfect prose
don’t think there’s nothing left to do
once words are found and phrases too.
There’s one thing left; you have to check
the grammar, don’t let spelling wreck
your careful words, your charming phrase
don’t leave your reader in a daze.
Move to the end, work in reverse
or read aloud, be bold! Rehearse!
Correct it all before you send
so publication can’t offend.
Check out your use of their and there
apostrophes and all, beware!
Be accurate with homonyms
and passive voice – a writers sin.
Check its and it’s, they’re often wrong;
its name is something which belongs
to it, and every single day
its name is spelled the self same way.
So, when you write, please write with flair
but let your watchword be take care
check before the publication
grammar, spelling, punctuation.
Remember, if you get them right
your business interests will take flight,
the millions that you surely crave
will flood right in, so please be brave.
Be ruthless when you proof read prose;
build links so your web business grows.
For anyone interested, parts of this were inspired by an old public safety announcement which I think appeared on the BBC, all about the need to wear a hard hat on a building site.
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