Kateproof offers an affordable and efficient proofreading service

To whom it may concern

Posted on 13th April 2011

I was sorely tempted to overly personalise this blog with a rant about an issue I have with a holiday provider when I suddenly remembered you're not interested in that. This is my website about proofreading and copy editing so you (my wonderful audience) aren't reading this to find out about my annoyances over my statutory rights but instead want to read about hints, tips and information on proofing, editing and writing. And therein lies my nugget of news for this week:


I have done work for clients recently who haven't known who their audience is. Without that knowledge, how can they (or I) know the suitable level of language, assumed knowledge or attention span of the reader and alter the text to suit it?

An example was with some poetry - if it's aimed at adults, using old-fashioned words may be fine, but if it's for a school level anthology, will a child know what 'consumption' means in any context other than eating! Perhaps tuberculosis is still too tricky for them in which case I would suggest using 'illness'. On the other hand, a PhD thesis I proofed a few weeks ago had such complex words that I spent half the time with my head in the dictionary checking they were contextually correct. I would expect a professor to understand the words so didn't need to change them, but if it was aimed anywhere outside the academic field, I would have had a serious red pen rampage turning everything into plain English.

So, the crux of the blog this week is to remember who you are writing for.

Written by Kate Haigh.