Proofreading: Where the Brain Fails


I cracked my knuckles and sank back into my chair, pleased with my work. Rubbing my eyes, I took a sip of coffee which had cooled down to the limit that it tasted like filth. Once again, I had conquered the the deadline and finished an assignment a night before by the date of submission. I took a deep swig from the coffee, wincing at the taste. Finally, I settled down fr the last and final step, proofreading my article.


Has anyone ever wondered why the job of a editor exists? Why can’t a person write an article and proofread it himself, just as I was about to do? Wouldn’t that save much time and energy?

The answer is simple in concept but complex in its entirely: the human brain is poor at pointing out errors in written works, especially when a the peice of work is a person’s own. The brain tries to provide us with as much as we can take. It is the only organ which possesses the ability to name itself and all other organs. However when it comes to pointing out our flaws, it fails miserably.

An article is basically an expanded form of an idea or a thought, placed on paper. The brain, which does the thinking and writing in the the first place, obviously has a good grasp of the concept of the article as well as the content. That is why when we proof read by ourselves, the brain simply chooses to override any mistakes the eye perceives because according to it, there is no error. It is an organ so narcissistic that is cannot believe it made a mistake. I mean, it doesn’t even allow me to look at my nose all the time, simply choosing to ignore it. It makes us look up to democracy but itself thrives on dictatorship.


This is what makes an editor’s job so indispensable. They act as the third party in this scenario. Their brain, which has no definitive idea about the content, is able to nitpick and thus weeds out errors effectively; it seems as though we have an innate ability to point mistakes in other people while remaining blind to our own. Remember, the the editor actually looks for mistakes; if you don’t look for them, you might not notice them, just as you may not have noticed the 10 mistakes in the article above.


Article By- Anirudh Gupta

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