5 Errors More Than Spellcheck from a Legal Document

5 Errors More Than Spellcheck from a Legal Document

Professionals know that tiny error in the documents invite critics. For that reason, they’re natural proofreaders themselves. But, these are common unavoidable errors if you’re on your own.

They are called:

Inconsistent Defined Terms 

The use of defined and undefined abbreviations throughout the document to describe entities like “Tenant” and “Project “. 

Consider finding a way to identify the entity without using an abbreviation if it’s not necessary.


Homophones are words that have the same sound but have different meanings. 

  • Anti/ante
  • Bare and bear
  • Break/brake
  • By/buy
  • Compliment/complement


Imagine you are driving on a highway and there’s a cat suddenly crossed your way. You pull your hand brake, and immediately shout “what the hell are you doing here”. Then you realised, you’ve been driving too fast and missed that signage.

There is a difference between 1. Let’s eat mom and 2. Let’s eat, mom. Punctuation matter because:

✅ It will alter the meaning.

✅ It makes your brain read carefully.

✅ It gives context to the writings.

✅ It makes sentences flow.

Poor choice of word

Legal jargons tend to be lengthy, repeated and in passive form. Check for consistent use of a single similar word or variation, such as “lawyer” and “attorney,” “contract” and “agreement.”

Double or missing words

Double words aren’t a problem if you’re using Spelling & Grammar Checker running as you write, or if you run a check the end. But if you are not using the checker, or you are reading a printout, watch out for double or missing words.


  • http://www.forrest-turner.co.uk/the-the-5-most-common-proofreading-mistakes/
  • https://www.wordrake.com/blog/5-kinds-of-errors-to-check-in-legal-proofreading
  • https://www.scribendi.com/advice/common_grammar_and_spelling_mistakes_after_proofreading.en.html
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