A school in the U.K. became a worldwide joke recently with their indecent texting typo. A reminder text sent to parents about an upcoming church service included the line, “If we can wash your dirty willies, please bring them along.”
Six minutes later an apology text went out: “I am so sorry, it’s WELLIES! WELLINGTON BOOTS.”
The embarrassing incident serves as a painful reminder of the importance of proofreading for texting typos. Once a message is sent, there’s nothing you can do to fix an error. Your only option is to apologize (or hang your head in shame and hope nobody notices).
Avoid Texting Typos by Proofing
But you can avoid the embarrassment and shame be taking the time to proofread every text you send.
- Re-read every text you send. Never assume something is good to go. Always take the time to re-read it several times to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
- Read every text aloud. Much like our phones, our brains will auto-correct typos. But our mouths usually don’t auto-correct. Reading something aloud is a way to force yourself to hear any mistakes.
- Get someone else to read it. Often when you’re writing something and proofing it yourself, it’s easy to miss typos and mistakes. Get fresh eyes on it by passing it off to someone else.
- Take some time. Another good strategy is to take some time between drafting and proofing your texts. This is especially helpful if you don’t have a handy office mate you can ask to proof your texts.
What to Look For
So what do you even look for when you’re proofreading for texting typos?
You definitely want to watch for any embarrassing mistakes. But aside from that, here are a few things to look for:
- Accuracy – Is the information you’re sharing correct? Double check dates, times and contact info.
- Typos – Make sure there aren’t any typos. You want your communication to be professional.
- Auto-correct – Thanks to auto-correct and spell check you need to watch for words or phrases that are technically correct but are completely wrong. These can be easy to miss since they’re often spelled correctly. This is where reading aloud really helps.
- Clarity – Is your message clear? Will everyone understand it or is there potential for confusion? This is where it can help to have someone else read your texts before sending them.