Thoroughness Curriculum Connection – Language Arts
The Importance of Proofreading: In his State of the Union address on December 5th of 1870, President Ulysses S Grant mentioned a tariff adjustment that would put a duty on certain imports and bring more luxurious items-such as tropical fruits-to the United States, and that the revenue from these taxes would help increase the country’s wealth. Unfortunately, this tariff was miswritten: a phrase in the tariff excluding items from the tariff was supposed to read “Tropical fruit-plants for the purposes of propagation,”, but which, due to a punctuation error instead read “Tropical fruit, plants for propagation”, causing the Unites States to lose an estimated $1 million in tax revenue on tropical fruit. It was rewritten a few years later and the error was corrected.
There are many stories out there about how one small punctuation mark has made a lot of difference in a message, and how disastrous things have happened, much like the story above. Proofreading is not just important when it comes to English, though. Thoroughness in proofreading math problems or a paper written for science or social studies class can make a difference. Even thoroughness in reading an assignment can improve understanding and make completing an assignment easier.