In the digital era, business is often conducted via quick-fire typing on tiny screens. But quirky spelling may make you seem less credible and intelligent than you really are.
Shrinking screens and growing pressure for faster response times for email and social media means typos can creep into texts, or worse yet, autocorrect can insert inappropriate terms.
While some spelling mistakes are harmless and amusing, many aren’t. The humble typo not only makes us seem ridiculous or less credible than we are, poor spelling can also create confusion, a loss of clarity and meaning, and – in extreme cases – cost millions in missed sales and job opportunities. It has the potential to wreck customer relationships and even ruin your chances of finding love online.
But if no-one is immune and technology makes bad spelling commonplace (‘text speak’, anyone?) is perfect orthography no longer of value? Is it OK to misspell?
Autocorrection: part of the problem
Spell-checking tools may seem like the answer, but they also create a new problem.
A long-term comparison of errors in university students’ essays in the US found that spelling used to be the most common mistake. But the new number one error is using the ‘wrong word’. Autocorrection sometimes ‘corrects’ spelling by inserting a different word than intended. If the text is not then proofread, this computer-generated error goes by unnoticed.
This can lead to many funny, or sad, mistakes, with official White House press statements calling for ‘peach’ in the Middle East.
New technologies, such as Apple’s Siri function, also contribute to the rising apathy toward correct spelling.
Previously, written material went through a process of copy-editing and proofreading to cleanse it of errors, but now online content goes up very quickly and often includes mistakes.
We tend to see published content on internet as ephemeral, when, in fact, it lingers on. Years later people sometimes still read it.
Here are 10 commonly misused words!