Word Meanings and Proofreadings

You would think that as writers we should know the true meanings of words. You would also think we would be excellent proofreaders. Yet this week I received a letter where I totally misinterpreted a word, thereby getting a good portion of the message wrong.

I was asked if I would grant permission for a group to use one of my articles on their database. I would be compensated, but I thought they were asking for exclusive rights. The word “non” was in front of the word “exclusive,” but for some reason I only read “exclusive.” It took two e-mails to clear things up for me. I probably looked pretty foolish.

That will teach me not to rush reading through a letter. I was in a hurry when the mail had come that day, so I only gave it a brief glance on my initial read. Of course, that was enough to set my misinterpretation into motion.           

Make sure you take the time to thoroughly read through documents and letters. You don’t want to miss out on any potential opportunities. And you definitely don’t want to look unprofessional.

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