from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To read (copy or proof) in order to find errors and mark corrections.
  • intransitive v. To read copy or proof for purposes of error detection and correction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To check a written text for errors in spelling and grammar.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. read for errors


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Partly on paper in a multiple-choice exam, partly by running around with weights strapped to oneself (to simulate rescue apparatus) up ladders and down, on your knees and off, dragging giant hoselines around and hauling 165-pound dummies through doorways. Also, you have to prove you're not crazy.

    August 8, 2008

  • And how exactly does one go about taking a firefighter exam?

    August 8, 2008

  • Frindley, I'll trade you that proofreading job for my project right now--revising a text on taking a firefighter exam.

    August 5, 2008

  • I should be doing this. I really should. But I don't want to look at the season brochure one more time. Sigh. Off I go. See if I can find any lingering flagships or sublime beauties or…

    August 3, 2008

  • You should have dropped a hint that there was more in the letter than a normal person would have realized. That could not fail to impress her!

    I would have been *thrilled* to get something like that. I dated a linguist for a time, and he never did anything that cool.

    Oh well. Just goes to show, make sure you proofread.

    February 13, 2007

  • Years ago I was friends with a nice girl who was also a master linguist. I once wrote her a letter with strategically arranged line breaks, so that if she were to read the first word of every line it would tell her how enamored I was by her and how I was dying to be more than friends.

    She's an utter genius, but unsurprisingly she didn't read it that way. I took this as an omen that we were never meant to be. It's a shame, because though I spent hours encoding that message, the actual body of the letter was rather boring and didn't really say anything of interest. She must have thought I was nuts to bother writing a meaningless, rambling thing like that.

    Now today, our lives have gone separate paths. Sometimes though I wonder if she did find the hidden message and just didn't say anything about it. Or if she still has the note and reads it wistfully from time to time. Most likely not. Doesn't matter. I have since learned to be a little more direct and a little less shy in my dealings with the opposite sex. :-)

    February 13, 2007

  • Sometimes reading a piece backwards will tip you off that you something out. (If I were more clever, this comment would say something backwards that it doesn't say forwards. Alas.)

    February 13, 2007

  • Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

    January 25, 2007