Thought for the Day

Do you want to earn money? Lots of it?

Then be a proofreader.

Just pay around £200-00 for an online proofreading course, receive an impressive certificate when you’re done and you’re good to go. What could be easier? Check for a few spelling errors and you’ll earn around £26-00* per hour. Get out of bed when you want, make a cup of coffee then earn a tidy little £400-00 a week for doing virtually nothing.

Okay so it’s not a fortune. But it certainly helps pay the bills.

Or does it? Perhaps it’s too good to be true. After all, why isn’t everyone working as a proofreader? You decide there might be more to this than meets the eye. And you’re right.

First, to be a first rate proofreader — and if you’re not a first rate proofreader you might as well continue scouring the job vacancies column — you have to be first rate. Your English must be impeccable and you must have a flair for spotting errors that other people don’t.

Second, never become interested in what you’re reading. You’re not learning or entertaining yourself, you’re analysing what someone else has written. It might be a thriller or it might be a DIY manual. Either way, it has to error-free when you’ve finished. Not a spelling error to be seen.

Oh, and the grammar. You have to really concentrate. You spotted that split infinitive, right? You’ll be checking for problems in sentence structure until you’re blue in the face. Or even face in the blue — which might be nonsense but is still grammatically well-formed. By the way, don’t use a grammar checker. They’re next to useless and the same applies to spellcheckers. Or spell checkers maybe.

All in all, you have to be extremely committed to proofreading if you’re going to be a proofreader. Then again, the same applies to anything.

So think twice before parting with your hard-earned cash for a course that will make Sam the Scam £200-00 better off and you with a ‘certifikate’. Yes, he probably missed that spelling error…

For some reason it’s always £26-00. As opposed to £25-00. Don’t ask me why.