Proofreading test: the answers
So how many mistakes did you spot in our short proofreading test? Here’s the text again with the eight mistakes highlighted in red:
“When Apple Corps launched their first iPhone in 2008, it didn’t dissappoint. In fact, it immediately captured the collective imagination with a geeky allure driven by Apples slick design, the phone’s smart flexibilty and it’s inovative multi-touch approach.”
Apple Corps: It was Apple Inc (or just ‘Apple’) that launched the iPhone. Apple Corps is actually the multimedia company founded by the Beatles.
their: Companies are traditionally referred to as singular entities. So this sentence would use ‘its’ rather than ‘their’.
2008: Another fact-checking test. The first iPhone was launched in mid-2007, not 2008.
dissappoint: There’s only one ‘s’ in ‘disappoint’.
Apples: This should have an apostrophe – i.e. Apple’s. We’re talking about the company’s ‘slick design’ here. In other words, the ‘slick design’ is referencing the word ‘company’, so it needs a possessive apostrophe to indicate this.
flexibilty: A spelling mistake that can be hard to spot. We’re missing a final ‘i’ at the end of ‘flexibility’.
it’s: As opposed to the ‘Apples’ example above, the wayward use of an apostrophe here turns ‘its’ into ‘it is’. This would make the sentence read: “the phone’s smart flexibilty and it is inovative multi-touch approach.” Which doesn’t make sense. The correct word is ‘its’ – no apostrophe.
inovative: Another spelling mistake. There are two ‘n’s in ‘innovative’.
Ultimately, a corrected version of this text would read:
“When Apple launched its first iPhone in 2007, it didn’t disappoint. In fact, it immediately captured the collective imagination with a geeky allure driven by Apple’s slick design, the phone’s smart flexibility and its innovative multi-touch approach.”
If you take anything away from this quick proofreading test it should be that it’s not enough to rely on a spellchecker. Be sure to check your facts thoroughly, including names, dates, people, places, products and events.
Want more proofreading tests?
You’ll find more proofreading practice like this in our book ‘Don’t Trust Your Spell Check’. It’s packed with pro proofreading tactics, looks at why we make mistakes, why we’re bad at spotting them and wraps up with 25+ challenging proofreading tests for you to try.