If your pub quiz speciality is Beyoncé, how do you react when you read something about her which is patently and absolutely wrong? Or, if you know how to use the English language correctly, what’s your default action when you trip over a misplaced colon?
Generally, when we know beyond all doubt that the writer of the piece in question has got it wrong, we stop trusting them and move on. Possibly forever.
Newspapers use fact checking – sub-editing as it used to be called – to weed out the inaccurate and incorrect, plus sloppy grammar, syntax and spelling, from articles so that readers can have confidence in what they read.
It is exactly the same with business reports, proposals and other communication across the world of commerce.
Editing, and only editing, polishes the written word to transform it from raw aggregate into a polished jewel.
Possibly of even greater value, editing can save you from making an idiot of yourself – even if you are a techie and believe you rule the world and never make mistakes.
In the commercial world, where mistakes are no laughing matter and can cost firms millions, professional and dispassionate editing saves reputations, jobs and profits.
Sometimes businesses do their own editing – recent examples include Enron and Arthur Anderson – but generally that does not lead to good results…