While editing announcements for my youth group’s newsletter I came across this line in a blurb about fall Sunday school classes:
Parents’ sex will be discussed with the junior high Sunday school, if there are any concerns or questions please feel free to talk to the Youth Coordinator.
A colon instead of an apostrophe can make all the difference:
Parents: sex will be discussed with the junior high Sunday school, if there are any concerns or questions please feel free to talk to the Youth Coordinator.
Editing and proofreading is a vital part of any marketing project, especially if you want to avoid an awkward junior high Sunday school class. But it’s not always easy. Speed and laziness conspire against us. Last week I posted some updates to this site and was quickly e-mailed about mistakes I should have caught.
All you have to do is be patient and diligent. That means grabbing a dictionary for the word you’re unsure about (like I just did with “diligent”). Sometimes it helps to read your copy outloud. You’ll be forced to read it slower and will be more likely to catch mistakes. It also helps to have another set of eyes proofread your copy. But whatever you do, don’t trust a computer’s spell or grammar check. Grammatically, there’s nothing wrong with either of the above sentences.