An extra letter here, a missed apostrophe there—it’s the stuff of nightmares
The copy’s been proofread, and your article (newsletter, e-mail, whatever) has been published—in print or online.
You’re perusing it, admiring your handiwork. Then you see it. Ack! A rudimentary, easily fixed error is there in the text. It’s standard-size type, but to your eyes it’s in 54-point Bodoni Bold.
And somehow, it’s underlined. Blinking, too. Maybe even chuckling softly. Or so it seems.
In any case, you screwed up. You. Missed. It. Self-evisceration is the only option.
The horror… the horror…
The culprit, other than you—careless, worthless, moronic, overworked, under-appreciated, perfectionist, yeah-but-what-good-did-it-do-me? you—was probably one of the proofreader’s land mines.
These are the words that elude spell-checking programs and, on occasion, even the most experienced eye. Following is an incomplete collection of these verbal tripwires (and, please, share your own nemeses in the comments section; we’re in this together, after all):