There are details, and there are details. It’s been said, "God is in the details." This may be especially true when we leave details that require the human touch, to computers.
We’re talking about the details a spell-checker won’t pick up (although you and your spell-checker should be the best of friends). Whether you’re an administrative assistant, the boss or manager, a programmer, or the best designer the world has ever seen, if you don’t pay attention to the details—I'll focus on the error and gloss right over your message.
If there’s one thing that makes my head explode, it’s the headline "SNEAK PEAK."
Is it a mountain that’s waiting to catch me by surprise? Where is it hiding? How is it escaping my notice? Should I be worried about it?
When I see “Sneak Peak!” as a headline, I automatically make the assumption, right or wrong, that the person or company making the statement doesn’t have a clue. But, I suppose it’s more likely that they simply don’t have a process in place to review and edit their public communications.
A recent Slate.com article (i.e., one man’s glorious rant), about how truly wrong it is to use two spaces after a period, went viral. The difference is, and the author points this out in great detail, that many people were actually taught to use two spaces after a period, but no one was ever taught that "peak" means “to look.”
Which all means that there is just no excuse for someone using "peak" instead of "peek," or vice versa. My ultimate hope is that the next time you’re writing something, or proofing something someone else has written, you’ll remember reading this. And, perhaps over time, we can rid our world of "sneak peaks."
Business bottom line: We all need editors; it’s especially important before releasing a document for clients or the public to see.
Are there details that bother you too? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org for us to share.