Tina Elmowitz|Aug 23, 2012

I admit it. I am judgmental. I mentally edit every resume, email and letter that comes across my desk.

Split split infinitives, irregular tenses, improper pronouns, typos – I look for them all. Or rather, they look for me and I just can’t help myself.

If you send me a resume with typos, I will send a kind response, but I will not interview you. As PR people, we answer to a higher authority: The AP Stylebook. It is our Bible, and I still use my trusty college copy that got me through Mass Communications unscathed. Perhaps that is why I still put two spaces after a period and not one as the revised Stylebook states.

Remember that “Sex in the City” episode when Carrie Bradshaw realized she doesn’t need to be jealous of Big’s wife because the wife doesn’t know the difference between their, there and they’re? This is exactly why I hate the send button. Inevitably, I notice a typo as my email floats into cyberspace, never to be retrieved. And I am crushed.

Fortunately, I work in an office where my colleagues share this obsessive disorder of word perfectionism. (Our own Kristy Kennedy wrote a great piece on this subject: “Impotence of effective communication [sic]: 10 proofreading tips.”)

These are the people who giggle at funny typos and enjoy double entendres. We get a kick out of newspaper headlines that read “Children make nutritious snacks” or “Tiger Woods plays with own balls, Nike says.” We share bad typos, and yes, we laugh at them. We also cringe, especially when the typo is ours.

So while I may judge you, I judge myself as well. While I had three people proofread this, I am cringing as I hit the send button.


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