National Proofreading Day

poster in circular form with Proofreading Day in bold letters with date of March 8th

National Proofreading Day is celebrated every year on March 8th. That date was chosen by its founder Judy Beaver in 2011 because it is also the date of her mother’s birthday, and her mother loved to correct people. The day is intended to encourage you to read and revise your documents to avoid errors.

Proofreading came into being in the 17th century. Authors themselves were responsible for their mistakes and their work. Later some people began to pass that proofreading work to their friends, colleagues and were used to paying for them. That is when proofreading work started to evolve as a profession.

Not everyone is effective at proofreading. In fact, it’s difficult to edit and proofread your own work because you’re familiar with the content, and your eyes see what the brain expects to see. Therefore, the mythic rule of putting your writing aside for about three weeks. At that point, your brain is less likely to trick you.

Proofreading is more than just catching typos. It involves an understanding of the English language and correcting grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation.

And with today’s technology, whatever you write and put out there (even if an email or a blog) is there for everyone to see. We all want to present the best view of ourselves. Part of that should be proofreading your material so that your intended meaning is understood and error free.