Don’t Trust Your Spell Check: Pro Proofreading Tactics And Tests To Eliminate Embarrassing Writing Errors

Don’t Trust Your Spell Check tackles proofreading and copy editing from a different perspective. It shows you why we make mistakes, what mistakes we regularly make, and how to spot mistakes before you print or publish content.

It also includes over 25 proofreading tests, designed to develop and improve proofreading skills.

Poor attention to detail can be disastrous. Wince at the US high school, which had a sign inviting parents to a ‘laeping to literacy night’; pity the department store that proudly advertised its grand opening in ‘Febuary 2010’. A spell check would have caught these particular errors. But it won’t catch every goof and gaffe. It wouldn’t have objected to the way a Baltimore news channel once subtitled Prince Harry as the ‘Prince of Whales’. Neither would it spot the four errors in the sentence ‘Simone painted his finger the boy and smiled wicked smile’.

In Don’t Trust Your Spell Check, veteran writer/editor Dean Evans explains:

The difference between proofreading and copy editing
What happens if you don’t proofread
Why we can’t stop making stupid mistakes
What stupid mistakes we can’t stop making
Why we don’t spot these stupid mistakes
How to improve your copy editing to eradicate errors
How to improve your proofreading to destroy all typos
How a style guide can be a proofreader’s cheat sheet
How to improve your concentration
Why computers can’t proofread

Since 1992, Dean Evans has written hundreds of thousands of words from technology news and movie reviews to celebrity interviews and books (like this one). Dean is the founder of The Good Content Company (UK) Ltd, which provides copywriting/freelance writing services and time-saving content creation tools. He is also the author of ‘The Good Content Code’ and ‘Write Great Headlines Every Time’.

Learn how to double check your content today.

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

Write Publish Promote at Cowgirlheart Media
Write, Publish, Promote. Words I am learning to live by. Want this to be your motto too? Join me and together we'll navigate the path to publishing success.

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Write, Publish, Promote. Words I am learning to live by. Want this to be your motto too? Join me and together we’ll navigate the path to publishing success.


  1. I would recommend this to anyone who writes and self-edits Flawlessly well-written, as one would expect, I found this book simple to follow, brimming with clear examples and solid on grammar/spelling/punctuation usage. I will be dipping into it much as I write and edit and have already implemented a style guide based on its template. There are many suggested ways of copy-editing, proofreading — you get to test-drive which methods suits you — with little pieces from experienced editors on how they approach their work. I would recommend this…

  2. Middle of the Road I had to take a proofreading test for a job interview, so I thought this book might help me brush up on my proofreading skills. I didn’t really like the general information, I found the advice to be very obvious and I feel like you could get that information for free on the internet. However, I did find the exercises to be somewhat helpful. Dedicating an entire exercise to “there, their, and they’re” may not have been that constructive, but some of the other exercises did help me pay…

  3. On Reading “Don’t Trust Your Spell Check” Sound advice & great tests to point out specifics while proofreading. A must read for anyone desiring to hone their proofreading skills for work or for pleasure.

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