We see what we expect to see

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we see what we expect to see


I consider myself a student—not of any university or trade school, but an everyday learner—whether out and about in public, in front of my laptop or with a book in hand. As for reading, not only do I read for pleasure, but also to study the writing craft. While recently perusing* The Writer magazine, I ran across an article titled “Dig in” about the relationship between editor and writer. Within 1,200 words or so, I experienced absolution of every typo I’ve missed during the editing and/or writing process, every omitted detail or similar faux pas. About any shoddy copy edits I’ve been asked in the past—Were you sleeping? How did that happen?—the author reminds: “We see what we expect to see.” The article also speaks upon digging deeper to become better (writers and editors), and highly recommends a second pair of eyes. Oh, and that oftentimes we just need that extra push.

When could you use backup?

*[read: pursuing in the first few drafts.]

Image courtesy of hyena reality at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Proofreading: a lost art


[Image credit: digitalart]

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~ Author Unknown

Quick, did your eyes replace the missing word in the above quote, or did you catch the omission?  One of my job responsibilities at the publishing company where I’m employed is to assist with copy edits.  Which is oftentimes a curse as I can’t help but notice mistakes when reading other printed (or online) materials.  The other night at dinner, I read how a woman was explaining to her children how she met not their dad, but their da.  In a magazine, the head architect for a construction job had tragically become the dead architect.  A newspaper headline accidentally omitted the L in a public announcement.  Then there are the contradictions.  On an antibiotic prescription of mine, the front label reads: Take one capsule by mouth every day with meals.  The reverse side states: Take medication on an empty stomach one hour before or two-to-three hours after a meal.  So which one is it?  (Yes, I called the pharmacy to double-check.)  The moral of the story: a second set of eyes can never hurt.

What’s your most embarrassing typo?