Saturday, 6 October 2012

Proofread Your Work!

Today, I decided to get myself a manicure and pedicure. It was a chance to sit back in one of the comfortable massage chairs while working through the plot of my second book in my head, when this sign caught my eye.

Unfortunately, the picture isn't all that clear. I took it with my iPhone  - after asking permission, of course. It says:
                       "Dear Customers,
                        Due to the increased numbers of nail
                        lacquer bottles being broken falling
                        down to the floor, we have no choice but
                        must hold customer's responsibility for
                        any broken nail polish bottle. From now
                        on, every broken bottle must be paid at
                        full retail price, which is $20 dollars. So
                        please handle nail lacquer bottles with
                        care. Thank you very much for your

Being an English teacher and writer, this was too much for me to ignore. The plot temporarily forgotten, I leaned forward in my chair and quietly spoke to the manicurist about the grammatical faux pas. Alas, her spoken English was worse than the sign.
Now, I understand the difficulty of communicating in a different language - the salon was staffed entirely by Chinese ladies and their male boss - but really, I believe it's only common courtesy not to make a hash of the common language in a public place.

It's a lesson to us writers as well. Before publishing your work, and putting it out there in the public realm, please, please, please, get it proofread.
You want to engage your readers not frustrate them!

Oh, my nails look fantastic, by the way.


Diane said...

I could not agree with you more, Tima. Even if, hopefully, your work does not fall into the same category as the notice in the manicure salon, there will always be something that has to be 'righted'. With my own work, I found that, even after reading the text at least 100 times, I had still missed words or punctuation signs (or put in too many of either the one or the other). It is so easy to become blind to one's own mistakes - proofreading is a vital necessity.

Tima Maria said...

Hi Dianne,
You're so right! I'm currently working on the 2nd lot of proofs from CS having believed I caught all the mistakes first time around. Wrong! It's incredible what you can miss.
But, I just couldn't resist that sign I saw in the salon. Proofreading is vital, especially in business.
BTW, I intend getting a copy of your book.