Last week Scott McClellan over at Collide Magazine wrote a great article on proofreading and other mistakes that churches make. Looking over my shoulder while I was reading the article was my web developer who laughed and said that had nothing on the Adulterous Bible.
The King of England's printers made a critical typo when they reprinted the King James Bible in 1631. When the good men of King's printers got to the Ten Commandments they left off a rather critical word out. Read the the original text below. (You can read the full story in detail here.)
Have you ever had a job to do for a client or ministry partner and after its been printed and distributed to a gazillion people you've had a knock on the door from your Senior Pastor gently telling you about a 'small' (subtitle: HUGE) mistake on the job?
Here are four tips to avoid a communications wipeout like that:
1) Get two different people who haven't been involved in your project to proof read your communications piece. Ask them to check it for spelling and grammar.
2) Pick a detailed focused person and a creative person. They interpret writing differently and will help you communicate more clearly with some helpful suggestions.
3) Are you like me, not a natural writer? Here are 8 great tips for less sucky writing from Lifechurch.tv's Communications Director Lori Bailey. If your writing improves, chances are you'll make less mistakes.
4) Ask your graphic designer if they've done a thorough spell check. It's like a 'well duh' moment I know, but I'm never surprised when my graphic designers have said that they've forgotten to do it. Here are some funny mistakes that have been made in church bulletins.
My father-in-law taught me when helping him to do any carpentry always to measure twice, cut once. It's the same in communications. Check it again and again, because you can only print it once!
What proof reading tips do you have? Help other readers and drop in a comment.
Have you have every had that dreaded sinking feeling of seeing a typo in a job you've done?
Footnote: Phil Cooke, Author of Branding Faith found this amazing typo on this billboard which surely will be the butt of many jokes.