Even if you have a string of editors on your company payroll, mistakes happen. As editors, we’re sometimes reading text for hours, and our eyes get tired. We get distracted, and we can miss the obvious.
It’s normal, as an editor, to feel the stinging shame of missing an error after something has been published, but remember – we are all human. All we can do is acknowledge the mistake, learn from it, fix it (if it’s not too late) and move on.
How did I not see that?
Recently, I was privy to a scenario in which a misspelled word somehow made it into an internal, corporate newsletter (of the Fortune 500 variety). The misspelled item was “availabe,” which, of course, should have been spelled “available.” A writer and several editors and a proofreader didn’t catch the missing “l” in the word.
How did we all miss it? The word was even in all capital letters and in a headline. Well, who knows how we missed it. Even Microsoft Word’s automatic spell check feature missed it. (There was no telltale, red squiggly line underneath the misspelling.)
Keep calm and take breaks while editing
The point is, a mistake was made, and it gave us pause. What I learned from that situation was to remember to slow down while reading and to take frequent breaks while editing. It helps to edit an article, walk away from it then return and edit it again.
Sometimes, I don’t realize how tired my eyes are from looking at the computer screen all day. Editors are human too, I am reminded, and we need to take care of our bodies (especially our eyes) or we can’t do the excellent jobs we strive to do.