As a self-confessed pedant, that’s my advice.
As Alexander Pope never said: To err is human; to proof, less common. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone likes to correct them. This is why the world needs eagle-eyed, word-loving, nitpicking perfectionists, and why I aspire to be one of them.
So welcome to Proof (v.), a blog for making a fuss about punctuation, grammar and spelling; for rambling about etymology and gushing over nice typeface (Helvetica mainly); for admiring inspirational use of the English language and singing along with obscurely pleasant songs; for finding tidbits of ‘interesting’ in the deluge of boring news; and for generally enjoying the fine print of the world through the magnifying eyes of a pedant.
I am Olivia McDowell and I am a proofreading pedant, a
word nerd, a grammar geek. Although I prefer to avoid the current trend of wearing said admission on a T-shirt. I shake my head at professionally published typos, but will always lend a patient ear, encouraging advice and/or earnest research efforts in response to questions of grammar and spelling — my own, or those of others.
I believe in linguistic evolution — not creationist prescriptivism. And (gasp) I like orthographical slip-ups — my own, and those of others. Poor grammar, errant punctuation, incorrect spelling and obscure syntax are grist to the editorial mill, fodder to the pedant’s blog. They keep eagle eyes alert, and the meticulous on their toes.
In the past, I contributed to Nomenclature; edited Precinct (as a newspaper, and as a magazine); and served as proofreader (and cover artist) for the UTS Law Journal, The Full Bench. I spent all my ‘spare time’ writing features for Specifier Magazine and dabbling in editing for specifier.com.au.
I have a fancy bit of paper to confirm my graduation with First Class Honours after five years of Journalism/Law degree at UTS (which involved so much work only a fool would smother it in understatement).
And now… I am living the word nerd’s dream, as a proofreader at Editor Group, based in New York City.
- tweet somewhat prolifically
- have a tumblr where I share the stuff I’ve just read
- conjure up sweet confections as The Lucky Baker
- very frequently share my pedant’s-eye view of the world on Instagram
- am probably on the yoga mat if you can’t find me elsewhere.
I’m rather busy, well, proofreading, these days… but you can still email me if you need someone to check your copy.