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Chapter 30 Proofreading the final draft.

Once the final draft of your essay, letter, e-mail, or resume is complete and polished in terms of content, organization, grammar, and usage, you must then proofread it carefully one or more times before submitting or mailing it. Proofreading is like the final wiping of the plate just before you serve it to the customer. Proofreading shows that you are proud of your work and respectful toward your audience.


When you proofread a piece of writing, look at each sentence individually, from the capital letter to the period, in order to check that each sentence follows the rules of grammar and punctuation outlined in Units 6, 7, and 8. (See Figure 30.1.)

You must be careful to look at each word as it is written. If we go too quickly, we tend to "read" the sentence as it exists in our minds, not on the page. Since the brain's job is to make sense of the words, we may correct errors automatically inside our heads and so miss them on the paper. One way of short-circuiting the brain's autocorrect feature is to read the essay backwards. Start with the last sentence, then move to the sentence before it, then the sentence before that. The idea is to separate the meaning of the passage from its mechanics, spelling, and punctuation. Having someone else check the essay is also useful. In any case, you would be wise to proofread it yourself at least twice and perhaps a third time.


An important part of proofreading, of course, is to check the spelling. Spelling is interesting. Some writers seem to spell correctly without much difficulty; others make mistakes even with the simplest words. Further, while some people place a great value on correct spelling, others do not see what the big deal is. The purpose of spelling, like that of punctuation, is to make sure the reader knows what you mean; that's the bottom line. However, spelling also reveals how much care you have taken with your writing, even how much respect you have for your audience! You certainly don't want bad spelling to show up in a review of your restaurant:

"Many of the Italian ingredients and cooking terms--arugula, bruschetta, mascarpone, carbonara--are misspelled on the menu." (33)

Poor spelling may seem relatively unimportant to a restaurant's success, but the next paragraph adds that the restaurant's "casual approach to service can be off-putting," and the reviewer's overall assessment is negative. A misspelled word is like a dirty water glass--its lack of clarity makes a bad impression.

So, what can you do if you're one of those people who just can't spell? First of all, don't feel bad! Just because you can't spell doesn't mean you can't write or think. Spelling seems to be a separate skill or ability. If you don't have it, it's okay--but you will have to compensate. Many professional writers can't spell, but they have editors to help them. Shakespeare spelled the same word three different ways on a single page, and he is one of the most admired authors in the English language. In other words, let's not get emotional or judgmental about spelling; let's just get the job done.

Sometimes we've been told to check spelling in a dictionary. The difficulty there is that if you have no idea how to spell a word, you don't know where to look. If the word begins with the s-sound, for example, will you look under s or c, or even p? Certain, scenery, and psychology all begin with the same sound but definitely not with the same letters. Difficulties exist also with spell check. Although useful and convenient, especially when you're using a word processor, spell check does not contain all the words or names you may use and so cannot check their spelling.

Further, although spell check can identify a correct spelling--and even suggest possible corrections for some misspellings, a particularly helpful feature--it cannot tell you whether words have been used correctly. For example, it cannot tell you that chose is the incorrect form in the infinitive phrase to choose. Spell check doesn't even realize that dinning is not the correct spelling of dining. Does that mean you shouldn't use spell check? No, of course not. Always check your writing with spell check before giving it to anyone to read. Spell check is also available in a handheld form, like a calculator.

English is a difficult language to spell. It has borrowed words from different languages and gone through various stages of pronunciation and spelling rules. The end result is kind of crazy. However, there are certain rules that govern spelling, and it is useful to know them. Another helpful practice is to keep a list of the words that you yourself often misspell. You can use this list in two ways. First, you can memorize the correct spellings on your list. Second, you can look for these words as you proofread your writing, and then use the list to check whether they are spelled correctly. If you find that you are misspelling words because you're confusing the meaning, write the definition as well as the spelling on your list, and see the list of commonly misspelled words in Appendix I and the selected culinary terms in Appendix II.

Spelling Rules

Do you remember the rhyme "i before e except after c, and when sounded like a as in neighbor and weigh"? Thus we write receive and ceiling because of the c, but believe without it (see Figure 30.2). Of course there are exceptions, such as seize, either, weird, leisure, neither. Another type of confusion concerns words ending in the sound "seed." There are three different spellings: -cede, -ceed, -sede (see Figure 30.3).

When a prefix is added to the beginning of a word, the original spelling does not change; we simply add the two parts together. For example, mis + spell = misspell. However, there are a number of rules that govern the spelling of a word when a suffix is added to the end (see Figure 30.4).
EXERCISE 30.1 Tracking Misspelled Words

Start a list of words that you've misspelled on your essays. Look over
the commonly misspelled words in Appendix I and the selected culinary
terms in Appendix II, and add to your list any whose spelling you
are unsure of.

EXERCISE 30.2 Identifying Misspelled Words

Identify the correctly spelled word in each pair.

1 definate       definite
2 succeed        suceed
3 writing        writting
4 occured        occurred
5 disappointed   dissappointed
6 extremely      extreemly
7 schedual       schedule
8 probably       probaly
9 accessible     accessable
10 recieve       receive

Culinary Terms

Since the culinary world uses words from many different languages, spelling can be especially complicated. We must move smoothly from French (hors d'oeuvre, nicoise) to Italian (foccaccia, prosciutto) to Spanish (paella, tortilla). We must also spell words from languages that use a different alphabet (challah, Szechuan). And, of course, we must spell all kinds of English words, such as cocoa, doughnut, leek, and Worcestershire sauce!

Identifying Misspelled Culinary

Identify the correctly spelled word in each pair.

1 restaurant    restaraunt
2 vegtable      vegetable
3 tomatos       tomatoes
4 license       licence
5 dining        dinning
6 guacemole     guacamole
7 thyme         tyme
8 aperitif      apperitif
9 cinamon       cinnamon
10 vinagrette   vinaigrette



Salt and sugar look very much alike, though salt granules are generally larger. However, the two have quite different tastes and chemical properties. What would happen if you mixed up the quantities in a cookie dough recipe and added a cup and a half of salt instead of sugar? Ugh! Similarly, English contains a number of words that resemble one another but that have different spellings and meanings. Skim through Appendix III, and identify any word pairs that you know you find confusing. Read and study the explanations. When you proofread a paper, pay special attention to these words. Look up others as questions arise.

RECIPE FOR REVIEW Proofreading the Final Draft

1. Use spell check on every piece of writing.

2. Use a dictionary to check the spelling and definition of words highlighted by spell check.

3. Add words and names to spell check as needed.

4. Learn spelling rules.

5. Keep a list of words that you sometimes misspell, and check for them in each piece of writing. Add new words to the spell check feature on your computer.

6. Check lists of commonly misspelled words and culinary terms.

7. To learn the correct definitions of commonly misused words, read through Appendix III and write down five pairs of words that look confusing or that you know have confused you in the past. Study the explanations and examples. Then, for each word, write a sentence that illustrates its correct usage.

8. Look at your essays and note which of the words in the appendix you tend to use or misuse. Study them carefully. Write a sentence for each that illustrates the correct usage.

END OF CHAPTER QUIZ Proofreading the Final Draft

Part I. Spelling. One word is misspelled in each of the following sentences. Write the correct spelling on a separate sheet of paper.

-- 1. The customers were pleased with the hotel accomodations.

-- 2. It was necessary to chose smoking or non-smoking rooms, of course.

-- 3. Latter, they went to the hotel's three-star restaurant.

-- 4. The dinning room was beautifully decorated with red velvet curtains and gold picture frames.

-- 5. The soup du jur was butternut squash with apple slices and sour cream.

-- 6. No one was dissappointed with its creamy texture and rich autumn flavors!

-- 7. The next course followed imediately, a salad of impossibly fresh mixed greens.

-- 8. There were also hot roles and butter, as well as large Calamata olives.

-- 9. By the time the main course arrived, the dinners were not even hungry.

-- 10. After a last sip of wine, everyone headed threw the doors toward the elevators.

Part II. Commonly Misused Words. Fill in the blanks below with the appropriate word in parentheses.

1. The customers were unable to -- between the lemon meringue pie and the apricot flan. (choose/chose)

2. The daily special was served with a -- cup of coffee or tea. (complementary/complimentary)

3. "Which of the -- looks good to you?" asked Marianne. (deserts/desserts)

4. "What's for -- ?" asked Joey. (diner/dinner)

5. "-- important to work with a sharp knife," said the chef-instructor. (Its/It's)

6. The knife had a speck of tomato sauce on -- blade. (its/it's)

7. Many Americans resolve to -- weight after the winter holidays. (loose/lose)

8. Andrew and -- shared a delicious mushroom risotto. (I/myself)

9. We had already driven -- the restaurant before we saw the sign. (passed/past)

10. We -- the restaurant before we saw the sign. (passed/past)

11. "May I have a -- of that New York cheesecake?" (peace/piece)

12. The customers at the local Italian restaurant look at -- menus. (their/there/they're)

13. -- are four kinds of homemade pasta available. (Their/There/They're)

14. -- excited about trying the vodka a la penne. (Their/There/They're)

15. No one is fonder of chicken lo mein -- Vinnie is. (than/then)

16. You -- may enjoy Vinnie's favorite some day. (to/too/two)

17. Is this the pistachio pudding cake -- you were talking about this morning? (that/which)

18. Is Rick the one -- intends to make the cake this afternoon? (who/which)

19. Rick learned the recipe from Will, -- had learned it from his mother. (that/who)

20. Jeremy saw a girl -- he immediately admired. (who/whom)

21. John saw a girl -- was dancing with her father. (who/whom)

22. "-- ready to bake cookies?" asked George. (Whose/Who's)

23. "I am," said Derek. "-- recipe are we going to use?" (Whose/Who's)

24. "We will use -- recipe, Derek." (your/you're)

25. "-- going to need lots of brown sugar, then." (Your/You're)
FIGURE 30-1 Proofreading Checklist.


        Check that each sentence is complete.     Chapter 20

        Eliminate run-on sentences and            Chapter 21
        comma splices.

        Check that each verb agrees with          Chapter 22
        its subject.

        Check that verb forms are correct         Chapter 23
        and that verb tense is appropriate
        and consistent.

        Check that pronouns are used              Chapter 24
        correctly in terms of case, agreement,
        reference, and point of view.

        Check that modifiers are                  Chapter 25
        used correctly.

        Correct any errors in parallel            Chapter 26

        Check that each sentence begins           Chapter 27
        with a capital letter and ends with
        the appropriate punctuation mark.

        Check overall use of capital letters      Chapter 27
        and apostrophes.

        Check internal punctuation.               Chapters 27-29

        Use spell check; then check the list      Chapter 30
        of commonly misspelled words              Appendix I
        and/or your personal list of              Appendix II
        commonly misspelled words.

        Check that commonly misused               Appendix III
        words are used correctly.

FIGURE 30-2 Spelling with ie and ei.


Use ie (not ei) for     brief, niece,
the -e-sound            retrieve

BUT after c use ei      ceiling, deceive,   either, leisure,
                        receive             weird

Use ei when the sound   neighbor, weigh,    friend, mischief
is not e, especially    height
when it is a

FIGURE 30-3 Words with -cede, -ceed, and -sede.

 SUFFIX                 EXAMPLES

-cede (several words)   concede, precede, recede
-ceed (three words)     exceed, proceed, succeed
-sede (one word)        supersede

FIGURE 30-4 Spelling with Suffixes.

SPELLING RULE                      EXAMPLES

Do not change the spelling         stubborn + ness = stubbornness
when you add -ly or -ness          EXCEPT: happy + ness = happiness

Drop final e if suffix             dine + ing = dining
begins with a vowel                hope + ing = hoping

Keep final e if suffix             hope + ful = hopeful
begins with a consonant            EXCEPT: argue + ment = argument

If word ends in consonant          hurry + ed = hurried
+ y, change y to i, unless         hurry + ing = hurrying
suffix begins with i

Double final consonant before      run + ing = running
suffix IF the word ends in one     occur + ed = occurred
vowel plus one consonant           BUT cancel + ed = canceled (last
and is accented on the last        syllable is not accented)
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Title Annotation:UNIT 8 Cleanup: Proofreading the Final Draft
Author:Cadbury, Vivian C.
Publication:A Taste for Writing, Composition for Culinarians
Date:Jan 1, 2008
Previous Article:Chapter 29 Punctuation III: abbreviations, numerals, italics, underlining, parentheses, brackets, hyphens, dashes.
Next Article:Chapter 31 English as a second language.

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