As a proofreader, it is my job to be the final set of eyes on my reporters' transcripts, and most importantly it's my job to find the tricky errors that spell check and free programs like Grammarly aren't going to find. Helping my reporters produce the most professional and polished transcript is always top priority. When I look good, they look good!
I've yet to come across a transcript where I didn't find errors. Though some errors are easier to spot than others, such as simple misspellings or sentences with no ending punctuation, most errors are more subtle and harder to catch. Here are 5 tricky errors that I see regularly in my proofreading business.
1. Those Tricky Homophones...
...especially when they pop up in the same transcript!
principle/principal. I see these in insurance company depos a lot!
brake/break. Both of these are nearly always used in those car accident depos.
you're/your. Even my most meticulous reporters can make this goof. I mean, it's easy to do when writing so fast; right?
2. Pubic vs. Public
That tiny letter "l" can make quite the difference!
3. Using the Wrong Attorney's Name
I've seen it all with this one! I recently had a transcript say that Mr. Smith had left the deposition. His co-counsel Ms. Taylor continued the examination. Suddenly Mr. Smith appeared again with a question! Since he hadn't actually returned, I knew that Ms. Taylor was still asking the questions.
Incorrect spellings of attorneys' names also show up quite frequently. Occasionally, I even see Mr. for Ms. and vice versa.
4. Steven/Stephen and Phillip/Philip
These are the names I see most frequently used interchangeably in transcripts. A simple search for the wrong spelling can help find these rogue misspellings! The trick, though, is realizing that these two spellings are even popping up throughout the transcript.
5. Tricky A.M./P.M. Errors
I suppose it's possible that the deposition began at 1:34 a.m., but it's more likely that it was 1:34 p.m., especially when the final parenthetical notes that the depo ended at 4:11 p.m. Otherwise, that was a REALLY long deposition!
BONUS! Punctuation errors!
Whether you love or hate the Oxford comma, whether you prefer just a sprinkling of commas for readability, sometimes adding those commas are an absolute must for the transcript to make sense. Just sayin'....
What types of errors do you most want your proofreader to catch? Comment below!
Need help with proofreading? Comment below or contact me via email! I'd be happy to help!