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Take a Proofreading Test

Put your proofreading skills to the test! The passage below contains a number of errors commonly encountered by professional proofreaders. Can you spot them all? Find out in the answers that follow.

Having barely survived the holiday season without tearing my hair out, I feel obliged to confront other members of my generation for an odious habit, to wit, last minute cancellation of social engagements. Now, it’s one thing to call your hostess several hours before a party with an excuse about a migrain, but its altogether unacceptable to send a text message to a friend you’re dining with later that night to say your feeling under the whether. Does your unhealthy friend think dinner plans grow on trees? Does she suppose you will throw up your hands and content yourself with a bottle of Merlot and a good game of Solitaire for the evening? I can honestly say that the only time I’d cancel on a friend with such little notice is if I was suddenly stricken with pneumonia, typhoid fever, and cholera.

The worst scenario is when your friend refuses to bare any responsibility for their cancellation: “We weren’t really sure we were meeting tonight, were we?;” “Good thing I see you all the time anyway;” “I know you understand how demanding my job is,” eccetera. It’s not the cancellation itself that is so infuriating, but the principal that if your friend cared enough to make plans in the first place, she owes it to you follow though and not leave you stranded. Maybe last-minute cancellation is our generation’s comment on how casual, easygoing, and relaxed we are. But just between you and I, it stinks.

Proofreading Test Answers

Having barely survived the holiday season without tearing my hair out, I feel obliged to confront other members of my generation for an odious habit, to wit, last-minute cancellation of social engagements. Now, it’s one thing to call your hostess several hours before a party with an excuse about a migraine, but it’s altogether unacceptable to send a text message to a friend with whom you’re dining later that night to say you’re feeling under the weather. Does your unhealthy friend think dinner plans grow on trees? Does she suppose you will throw up your hands and content yourself with a bottle of Merlot and a good game of solitaire for the evening? I can honestly say that the only time I’d cancel on a friend with such little notice is if I were suddenly stricken with pneumonia, typhoid fever, and cholera.

The worst scenario is when your friend refuses to bear any responsibility for [his or her] cancellation: “We weren’t really sure we were meeting tonight, were we?”; “Good thing I see you all the time anyway”; “I know you understand how demanding my job is,” [etcetera or etc.] It’s not the cancellation itself that is so infuriating, but the principle that if your friend cared enough to make plans in the first place, she owes it to you to follow through and not leave you stranded. Maybe last-minute cancellation is our generation’s comment on how casual, easygoing, and relaxed we are. But just between you and me, it stinks.