The English language can be a bit tricksy. Words can look or sound the same, but have completely different meanings. There are different variations of this, but as a general rule they can be categorised as follows:
Homonyms – words that spell and sound the same, but have different meanings.
Homophones – words that only sound the same, but have different spelling or meanings.
Homographs – words that spell the same, but sound and mean something different.
Why should I care?
The thing is, these words are technically correct in the sense that they are actual words, and not misspelled. So if you used an incorrect homonym, for example, your spellchecker isn’t going to highlight it. It’s not going to be flagged unless a human notices it – and the human brain sees what it wants to see. The brain can also get tired, or lazy, and as a result these mistakes can make it into post very easily.
He gave a compliment.
He gave a complement.
Here we see a homophone that is almost identical, but has two completely separate meanings. A compliment is praise, or affirmation, whereas a complement is something added to something to make it better; like spices to a dish. Both don’t trigger spellcheck, because both make grammatical sense.
To be able to spot these in a finished document, you need to be looking for them. Be familiar with them. And be combing through the document manually.
Sounds annoying, right?
What can we do?
If you don’t want to deal with combing through your documents yourself, simply want someone to double check your work, you can come to Catch the Sun Communications.
Our trained staff consists of proof-readers who specialise in minute details and have copious amounts of experience in removing spelling errors, incorrect wording and homonyms and the like.
We will tear through them so well, you will exclaim about our work being on another tier, bringing a tear to your eye (see what I did there?).