The New Student's Reference Work/Proof-Reading
Proof′-Read′ing. Owing to the varieties of handwriting which are submitted to printers, as well as to various accidents which cannot wholly be avoided in setting up type, it is necessary that the first imprints or proofs of a book or periodical should be carefully revised and corrected. Moreover, an author or editor is by this means enabled to make alterations or corrections in the text to the last moment. Among the errors for which proof-readers will be on the alert are these: the omission of letters or their wrongful insertion; bad spacing between words or letters; the omission of words; the transposition of letters, words or phrases; wrong type; defective punctuation and use of capitals; crookedness of lines. For these faults the proofreader uses certain appropriate marks. It is not, however, necessary to adhere to these marks alone. Every proof-reader should, however, make his corrections in the margin and on the side nearest the error. He should set a vertical stroke at the end of each correction in the margin. The spot at which the correction is to be made should also be indicated. The purpose of the vertical stroke after each marginal correction is to separate one correction from another, for it is not uncommon to find several fall close together, even in the one line. Thus a wrong letter would be corrected by a stroke through it, the right letter written in the margin, and a vertical stroke after this letter. A caret is used where something is to be inserted; a mark like a d where something is to be deleted or omitted. Proof-reading must be done with attention to the form rather than the meaning, except where the editor or author may wish to make alterations in the meaning rather than to correct the form. It is difficult and unsafe to attempt to combine both purposes in a single reading. In general, even the form requires three readings, preferably by at least two different persons.