Friday, May 12, 2017

Correcting drafts: How much effort is needed?

Correcting drafts: How much effort is needed?


When you type out a letter or some communication how much effort do you put in to correct errors?  Some send it out without any re-touch. Some spend hours perfecting it. I mean they go to extremes. Need for providing an accurate output depends on many factors like the recipient, the purpose, the occasion etc. If you are sending an article for publication in a reputed magazine / journal then complete proof reading is a must. If you are writing a reply in a discussion forum, if meaning is carried correctly it is fine. Silly typos will be understood and tolerated in informal exchanges. If you are submitting a resume for employment then neatness, in addition to correctness, also counts.


If what you enter gets into a database, say a directory of Members then strict discipline is called for. For example if you make a mistake in typing the name of the locality in address column, it may or may not matter. If the locality name will be used to sort by location then consistency in correct spelling is required. If it is a part of a block data, even the postman wouldn't mind typos or variant names. If DOB is entered, it must be perfect to be interpreted correctly: 01/07/1943 – Is this first July or seventh January?


If the error pertains to facts or content then correction must be carried out. If an error causes confusion then re-writing for better clarity is warranted. For instance read the sentence:


"The subscription to your magazine standing in the name of  Rangaswamy expired in Dec 2016"


Who expired? Subscription or Rangaswamy? When? Dec or Dec. or December? You know which correction is a must and which one can be left uncorrected.


Sacrificing dots after commonly understood abbreviations is OK with me. Mr and Mr. are both fine and you shouldn't find fault with me if I omit dots after popular abbreviations.


Well, I can go on and on (like a mother-in-law) with examples. But my plea is: Be practical. Correct where you must; leave something / rest for the recipient to work upon!





Dr P Vyasamoorthy
30 Gruhalakshmi Colony, Secunderabad 500015 Telangana
LL 040-27846631 / Mobile: 9490804278

When you correct the draft of your writing do you aim at perfection or functionally correct output?

1 comment:

  1. Good article. The problem I am facing in the on-line course I am attending is; how to fit the answer within 1200 characters without compromising on the contents. This is more so when there are three related questions and the answers need to be in one box. Otherwise the continuity is lost. Thanks for the articls.