Why does it really matter if people spell things incorrectly? Who cares if an apostrophe is in the wrong place or a sentence is badly written?
Who cares? Your readers.
I have seen too many articles, including some written by marketing companies and published on LinkedIn, that include multiple errors – spelling mistakes, misused apostrophes and errors that look like the text was edited and not re-read. I have even heard people say ‘spelling doesn’t matter – that’s what spellcheck is for!’
If you don’t take the time to attend to details that hinder communication, how are you going to do a good enough job for your customers?
Imagine you are driving through some beautiful countryside. It could be the Swiss alps, the Scottish highlands, or the rolling hills of Ireland. The sun is shining, the view is stunning and you are loving every moment as every curve in the road brings another scene more breathtaking than the last. Then suddenly you hit a pothole. The loud bang startles you, you may jump in your seat, and you are suddenly made aware of the poor state of the road surface you are driving on. At that moment, the scenery doesn’t matter as you are now more concerned with the condition of your vehicle and the bad upkeep of the road. You are now more worried about hitting another pothole than you are enjoying the view. The pothole has ruined your drive.
That is how bad spelling, poor writing and misused punctuation interrupt the user experience. You may be reading something that appears to answer a problem you have, or you could be absorbing a beautiful piece of prose that is simply a joy to read. Suddenly, the sentence doesn’t make sense because the author has written ‘there’ instead of ‘their’, or the punctuation makes it unclear if ‘you are’ or if you own something. Meaning is lost, the communication is disrupted and the point of the article is derailed.
If you’re (as opposed to your) not completely confident in your writing, get someone else to proofread it. Or meticulously proofread it yourself.
But please don’t leave the mistakes for others to find. The damage may already have been done.
Do you need help with writing copy, whether for an email campaign, website or print materials? Let me know!