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Roberta Basarbolieva's
Compelling Edits

  • Writer's pictureRoberta Basarbolieva

Worry Not: The Spellchecker Will Fix It!

Updated: Dec 6, 2020

Do you have spellchecker on your computer? For years now, Microsoft Word has been checking that the subject of a sentence matches its verb, there are no word repetitions, and commas are in all the right places. In that case, surely all of your writing is correctly spelled and punctuated already, so why would you need an editor?

For one, a spellchecker is a programmed tool which corrects only what it recognises as an error. Yew wood not no if your using the write word, especially when you consider the many homophones (words with the same sound) in English, and words that only differ in a single letter (compliment/complement).

If you begin your books with the words ‘Hello, bother’, the spellchecker won’t be able to help you, while your readers will need some time to figure out you meant ‘brother’ instead.

Commas are, even harder, since their correct placement, depends on a deep understanding of grammar, or on a well-developed feeling for the flow of language. The fact that comma rules are somewhat fluid only makes this harder.

Beyond the proofreading skills required to catch the above, editors deal heavily in matters of style and appropriateness. If your boss needs to speak with you, it is more casual than if he requires a meeting with you.

What is your experience with writing? What about working with editors?

P.S. Can you spot the mistakes in the text above? Send us a message!


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