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Prooffreadding: Was: And now for smotehnig cpmoleelty dfifernet...

From: Michael Brady <bradydesign-AT-earthlink.net>
Date: 18 Mar 2004 13:33:56 UTC   (08:33:56 AM in author's locale)
To: "The Graphics List" <graphics-AT-lists.graphicslist.org>
kc wrote:

> However, the spelling errors I did catch were usually graphical in
> nature -- if there were too many/too few ascenders or descenders, if
> the word was a letter too long or too short, and sometimes if it was
> too "dense" or too "airy" Unfortunately, I usually only knew that it
> was wrong, not how it should be spelled.

Reminds me of a time from the Wayback Machine when I worked in a
hot-type shop. Occasionally (not often) I would proofread a galley of
type directly from the type (not from a proof pulled from the forms). I
did this with another person, who read the copy aloud to me (or I read
it to him from the type). Anyhow, every now and then, I could see a
wrong font character just by glancing at the shiny slugs of lead, to
the amazement of the other fellow one day.

In fact, when I examine a page proof, I use a habit I developed both
from graphic design and the painting studio. I call it "looking away,"
that is, intentionally trying to see something in the periphery of
vision by looking away at something else.

For example, often I look at a proof slightly out of focus (I focus a
bit in front of the page), trying to perceive oddities such as an
irregular word space (perhaps indicating an extra space character), a
cluster of verticals (a series of numbers or capital letters), etc.
I've gotten to the point working in this office without a full-time
editor to expect the client to miss a lot of inconsistencies and
misspellings, especially in numeric expression (values, addresses,
phone numbers, etc.). This method relies on my awareness of what Hrant
Papazian refers to as the 'bouma,' or shape, of a word. "Looking away"
is a technique to make unusual boumas more apparent.

Michael Brady

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