Spelling Matters

Sometimes you search and search for the right thing to say and then… it’s there, right in front of you!

I couldn’t quite make up my mind on whether to write a short post on The Placebo Effect (triggered by a Dr Karl podcast) or whether to write about Flat Earth News, which I am currently reading… In checking out a design feature of this blog, I noticed, (Oh Horror) a spelling mistake in the title of my previous post – “CoNfortably Simple”. I was horrified that many people could have witnessed such a mistake… but in the end, how much does it matter?

With the volumes of self-publishing material now available on and via the internet, I have come across those who meticulously double and triple check their spelling and those that obviously happily type along and don’t read over their work before pressing Send Now or Post.

I have to admit I belong to the first group and I am a bit of a snob – which is ironic because neither my English nor Spanish are perfect and when I make a mistake, it’s usually a big one. (I also use the excuse of having a British keyboard to avoid using accents when writing in Spanish, in case I make a mistake…) Oh, and I also make up my own punctuation rules.

So what does correct spelling represent aside from the fact that you know how to spell? That you care that you spell well? That you care what people think of you when they read your work/messages?

For me, language is what unites many of us. (And by default, language is also what separates many of us.) In trying to preserve its beauty and tradition, I suppose I am trying to preserve something I value. I suppose when I perceive that language isn’t being treated with care, I get defensive about it and think that the transgressor doesn’t care or value their own message. But I imagine I’m going too far and sometimes, it’s just a question of what one is used to. Some people spell well, some people talk well, some people paint well, some people sell well, the list goes on…

There was recently (well, about a year ago) a debate on a forum I used to belong to, on precisely  how important it was to write and spell well in business. I know it’s important in all communication but I can’t quite articulate why.

So sorry, but I am no clearer myself of where I stand with this, than I was at the beginning of the post – help, clarity someone – more thoughts?

(For those of you who speak Spanish, do visit the blog Tomás en Europa for a more eloquent view on the subject.)

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