prooflisten
(proof.LIS.un) v. To listen to a recording of words or music to check for errors. Also: proof-listen, proof listen.
prooflistener n.

Example Citation:
Rosemary Varney (Obituary, February 22) never lost the ability to comment devastatingly on hypocrisy or charlatanism, and yet she was the most uncensorious friend. Another quality was the range of her charitable activities. For years she proof-listened taped books (from romantic fiction to multi-volume biographies) for the visually handicapped.
—Christine Webb, "Letter," The Guardian, March 4, 2000

Earliest Citation:
He begins by copying the music out by hand, then enters it into an Apple Macintosh computer in conventional notation. He uses a program called Nightingale, which is still being developed in the US. The program provides a stave and notes are placed one by one on the stave. The computer code goes direct to a typesetting machine for printing.

The program also has a musical instrument digital interface (MIDI), so it can play the music: "I can proof-listen as well as proofread," says Crawford.
—Elisabeth Geake, "Computers make lute work of damaged manuscript," New Scientist, June 6, 1992

Notes:
Today's word is the aural analog of proofread, to read a draft or manuscript to check for errors. (A proof (1600) is a trial printing in which corrections are made. Note, too, that proofread dates to 1920, but proofreader dates to around 1850, which indicates that the verb is most likely a back-formation of the noun.) Prooflistening is performed by translators, audio book editors, and music transcribers. It's also performed, in a sense, by some authors who, if they don't feel too sheepish doing it, will read a draft of their work aloud to get a better feel for the rhythm and voice of their prose.

Related Words:

Categories: