Prrofreeding Fale

12 Nov

I didn’t pass…006


After reading this from – an interesting and philosophical blog…

Why do we find it so difficult to share our dark and dirty selves online? Do we openly express our happiness via social media to seek the approval of others? Perhaps the most damaging part is that by only recording and sharing the splendid moments in our lives, we lose track of who we really are? 100 happy days isn’t enough to outweigh the other 265-ish days in the year.

I decided to share this un-splendid moment in my life with you, so as not to lose track of who I really am. (And not seeking sympathy in any way, shape or form. Honest.)

I didn’t miss the grade by much but, lets face it, enough for a fail. Seems a bit harsh to me and is very subjective in my totally unbiased (ahem…) view.

So this is how It works. They break it down into four categories:

  1.  Attention to detail
  2.  Spelling, punctuation and grammar
  3.  Technical ability
  4.  Level of intervention

They passed me on 2 & 3 but saw fit not to on 1 & 4. At least my dear old English teacher, Miss Riches, would be proud – re no. 2.

And I can learn symbols – re no. 3. (I can also look them up in the manuals provided.)  Piece of pi cake.

In failing me on point no. 1, they infer that my level of concentration isn’t what it should be and say as much in their handwritten comments – which were, by the way, almost illegible.

Just as well I can concentrate then, or I wouldn’t have been able to read them.

You have no idea how I pored over that assessment piece. And that’s probably where I went wrong – over-thinking. I do have a propensity for this and it really doesn’t do me any favours. Indeed, the less I think the better I become.

As regards point 4: On the course, a lot of time  is spent emphasising that the proofreader shouldn’t intervene/alter the style of the author. They say that in the real world, by the time you get the typescript it will already have been edited and therefore any major boo-boos/glaring anomalies will have been put right. So leave it alone. Yet some of the mistakes I did (correctly) adjust were so basic – the editor would have to be shot for missing them.

They also, at the same time, stress that the proofreader is the final safety net, as it were, and must correct style inconsistencies, as well as the grammatical errors/typos etc. So it’s a judgement call really; one that I called badly it seems.

Oh how I agonised over some points. Shall I? Shan’t I? In the end I did – and obviously shouldn’t have. Heads they win, tails I lose.

This may sound like sour grapes. It is. Actually.

After a self-imposed cooling off period, I emailed to ask, politely, if I could re-take this assessment. Why of course, they reply, that’ll be another £45 please. Kerching!

A couple of my friends have wondered (when I shamelessly sobbed on their shoulder) if this was standard practice. Call me a cynic but I wonder too.

So, what next?

Despite all that I’ve said, I am very much enjoying this course and learning lots, so I shall soldier on bravely with the copy-editing part of the course…004

See how I fare with that. It might be that I’m better suited to this – a less anal, more creative occupation – or not.

Whilst it would be ever so handy to have that certificate of competence that they hand out to those they deem so (not me evidently) to present to prospective employers, I shall do without. Thank you very much.

I will make do with liberal outpourings of bullshit charm and totally busk it market myself furiously when the time comes and if I decide to go the proofreading route.

Maybe, just maybe, this new-found knowledge and insight into the publishing world will make me a better writer. But, if all else fails, I shall have to come up with something else I (think) I can do (that makes money) in the jim-jams.


You may leave suggestions in the comments if you must. No smut.

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6 Responses to “Prrofreeding Fale”

  1. Jose November 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

    I think you should stick at it and have another go, particularly if you weren’t far off. £45 is not a lot in the scheme of things and it could soon be dissolved in newfound income, were you to pass next time. Which, of course, I am sure you will.

    Go on, give it another go.

    • Boatbird November 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

      I may yet do that, still churning it over, and you’re right, it’s not a lot in the scheme of things.
      And of course…. knowing what I now know should ensure a pass on my second go. Took two driving tests to get the paperwork that said I was fit to drive after all!!

  2. Soo n Chris November 12, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    Hi, I agree with José. Next time should be easier, now you know the possible pitfalls. Try wearing a nightie!

    • Boatbird November 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

      Hi you two. Yeah, I know, probably will – once the pride recovers..!

  3. Kay Finch November 12, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    Never mind Annie – better luck next time. I’m with Soo, although nighties can be a bit draughty this time of year xx

    • Boatbird November 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      Nah – just a minor set-back really Kay and I don’t do nighties people. Not the same somehow!

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