On 18 September BBC newsreader Simon McCoy took to the screen armed with what he thought was his iPad – now a staple accessory for presenters. Unfortunately he’d accidentally picked up a pack of new A4 paper, and was forced to read the news holding it awkwardly.
Technology can make writing considerably easier – it can correct your spelling and grammar, and can provide you with synonyms and definitions at a mere click. But typing, whether it’s done on an iPad, smartphone or computer, can also lead to embarrassing, and completely avoidable, mistakes. The following points should help you to keep your writing fresh and accurate:
1. Don’t rely on spell check.A good spell checker can help to remedy your spelling mistakes, but should not be relied upon. Thoroughly proofread writing yourself to ensure that everything is perfect – it’s easy to include an incorrect word correctly spelled, which won’t be picked up by spell check. You should also check the settings: if you’re in the UK, make sure that your spell checker is set to UK, not American, English.
2. Print it off. Words on paper look different to words on screen. Quite why, we’re not sure, but printing then proofreading will allow you to spot problems that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
3. Use your voice. Whether you’re writing a catchy slogan, or web copy that flows smoothly, read it aloud. This is a great technique for ensuring grammatical accuracy too, as grammar checkers are still notoriously unreliable.
4. Take regular breaks. Staring at the screen for hours on end often results in stale, unimaginative writing, with more mistakes. Give your eyes and fingers a rest every half hour or so, even if it’s just to make a cup of tea – you’ll think of new ideas, and your writing will be fresher.
5. Take your time. Typing can speed your writing up considerably, and technology also allows you to send an email, write a comment, or submit your work to a client faster. The problem is that this makes it tempting to rush things – use some of the time that you save to check over your work before sending it off.
All forms of copywriting – whether you’re writing digital copy for a website, or a letter to be mailed directly to clients – are commonly produced and submitted digitally. Contact us to ensure that your written communications are always up to scratch.