I have come across the acronym BOLO a few times in various transcripts—depositions of detectives and police officers mostly. It means “Be On the Look Out.” If you want to get technical, “lookout” in that context is one word! But BOL isn’t as much fun to say, now is it?
This is a list of “BOLO” terms I’ve found in transcripts over the years — it’s also a list of very common things proofreaders miss. These are some of the most commonly overlooked items in the practice transcripts within Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice™. Seriously. Some people miss ALL OF THEM. These are things that even people who are “good at grammar” miss. That’s because these things really have very little to do with grammar.
The items on this list are not just common things proofreaders miss, they’re also common mistakes court reporters make. Proofreading transcripts, as you may already know, is a LOT different than your everyday proofreading assignment. Court reporters type SUPER fast, and even though they read their work as they edit the job (or at least they’re SUPPOSED to), we all know how tough it is to spot errors in our own work. So stuff slips through. You gotta be on top of your game to catch everything (or is it “every thing”?? Find out below).
This is different than the commonly misused word list found in the 7-day course because they are specific to transcripts. I come across new stuff pretty much every day… “BOLO” (be on the lookout!) for continuing installments of this list on the blog!
The Evolving List of “BOLO” Terms
statue / statute – I see this one ALL the time, especially in hearings. It would even be worth doing a search throughout your entire document to double-check.
do / due —
- “do process of law” = wrong
- “make due with what I have” = wrong
trial / trail – another one to do a search on to double-check
p.m. / a.m. – check title pages and start/end times, plus times in parentheticals to make sure the correct ones are used.
seat belt / seatbelt – seat belt is two words (so is “back seat”!!)
airbag / air bag – airbag is always one word (often you’ll see it spelled both ways throughout).
who’s / whose –
- “Who’s job is it to do that?” = wrong.
- “Whose going to pay?” = wrong
deep-seeded – should actually be “deep-seated”
everyday / every day — one’s an adjective!!
- “Those are just everyday shoes.” = okay. … but
- “I go to work everyday.” = WRONG!!
- “Every day, she asks me for a divorce.” = right!
and while we’re at it…
everytime / every time — “everytime” is not even a word! Don’t use it. Ever.
everything / every thing —
- “Everything I do makes no difference.” = wrong
- “Every thing I own was stolen.” = right!
everyone / every one — same as above. Do you know the difference?
scribner’s error – misspelling of “scrivener’s error,” which is used as a fancy word for typo in writing or in print.
gambit – usually a misuse of the word “gamut” – run the gamut of possibilities.
British/Canadian spellings!! A big one is “canceled” and “cancelled” – the British use the double-L, but American English does not. Another one is “traveled” and “travelled” – again with the double-L. Watch out!!
ZIP Code – I mention this in the course, but it’s worth mentioning again here. ZIP Code is a trademark of the US Postal Service (really!) and this is the proper spelling. NOT zip code, ZIP code or Zip code… the only proper way to spell it is ZIP Code!!!!