Slips, Not Scripps

10 07 2013

time_graphicEvery Monday morning, part of my job as a mid level manager of a large embroidery company is to log in to our payroll website and approve the time sheets of the people I supervise. It is the simplest of tasks, made difficult by the stunningly awful spelling error on the welcome page graphic (left). Seriously? Spelling the word “attendance” wrong on a payroll website?

Bad spelling has always been a pet peeve of mine. My mantra has always been, “If you come across something I’ve written that has an error it is because I suck at typing, not spelling.” Yes, I type mistakes in grammar or word usage – “you’re” vs. “your” – but not spelling.

I did a little bit of research for this post. And when I say that I did research I mean that I googled “bad spelling”. The results showed hundreds of hilarious spelling and grammar mistakes. The examples are astounding… Misspelled street signs… funny. Misspelled tattoos… hilarious! Spelling mistakes in books, emails or websites… disaster.

Nothing says more about the professionalism of a person than how they write. I’ve dismissed more than one individual because of a poorly written email. Bad writing affects the perception of your company as well. I get email marketing all the time that has one, sometimes two glaring mistakes. I see mistakes in web copy, blogs, social media updates… etcetera, etcetera, ETCETERA!!!

While I’m fired up about this, I’m not without guilt.

A few years ago I was putting together a PowerPoint presentation for a sales meeting, with content supplied to me from various people. As my personal midnight deadline loomed I was copying and pasting like a mad man! The next morning, when the CEO of our company stopped the meeting to point out a spelling mistake, I was angry. The day got worse when there were a couple more. My lesson learned? I was responsible for the quality of the content. No one else. No excuses.

But I do realize that it’s not always that the person (me) can’t spell. We are all so busy and, to be honest, a little lazy. Certain things designed to help us have exacerbated the problem. Autocorrect is THE killer… the more we use our mobile devices the more lazy we will become. And the “never lived in a world without cell phones and internet, quick hit, text messaging” generation will soon be flooding the work force causing old fogies like me even more consternation!!

So, deer readers… hear are my Best Three Tips To Avoid Spelling Errors!! In order…

  1. Embrace Spell Check – Never, ever publish a blog, send an email, update your site, or anything without running it through Spell Check.
  2. Read It Backwards – When looking at your own writing you aren’t actually reading. That may be big news to you… there is no checking going on because your brain already knows what the next word is going to be. It sounds crazy, but it works.
  3. Fresh Eyes – Simple… get someone you know to read your work. And choose someone who isn’t familiar with the content if possible. It doesn’t have to make sense to the human spell checker. Commit to this…

I just followed my own rules! Well… two out of Spelling 03three. I made several errors and fixed all but two. Just to annoy you. And you know who you are!

I sincerely hope this post helps make the world a better place, and make you a bit more professional. You’ll probably get a big fat salary bump. Use the money to send the kids to a remedial writing class.

I’d love to hear what you think of this post, or maybe some real examples of bad spelling in business. Give us a laugh! Please leave a comment below. Thanks… JL

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8 responses

11 09 2013
rachelwvu

“The day got worse when there were a couple more.”
This should be: The day got worse when there was a couple more.

“As my personal midnight deadline loomed I was copying and pasting like a mad man!”
You need a comma after loomed!

11 09 2013
rachelwvu

I can’t count how many “Yard Sale” signs that I’ve seen spelled YARD SELL in my hometown. Maybe they let their 4 year-old make the sign, or maybe they really don’t know the difference! Personally, I’ve never had a problem with spelling words; however, spellcheck has made me lazy! I know people who have doctorate degrees and still misspell simple words. Spelling is something that comes natural for some. For the majority, spellcheck is a must!

Just a few days ago, my Business-Law Professor wrote “PRESIDENT” on the board. She meant “prescient”. Someone asked if she spelled it right, and she changed it to “PRESIDENCE”. Bless her heart.

11 09 2013
11 09 2013
Gr8JohnL

Interestingly… None of the spelling errors I talked about in this post have been corrected. I guess my reach isn’t what it could/ should be. And it makes me cringe even more!

11 09 2013
Gr8JohnL

That’s for the comment!

11 07 2013
Arnie Korfine

Seriously? “I’d love to hear your what you think of this post,”

11 07 2013
Gr8JohnL

What??? That’s not what it says!! Stop with the 8:00 AM martinis…

10 07 2013
Tamara

Hehehe…this is right up my alley. Next lesson, appropriate comma usage. 😉

And I NEVER use spellcheck, anywhere. I’m that good.

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