When I was in Junior school, we used to have ‘spelling bees’ every Friday – for me, at least, a fun and effortless way to learn new words and to understand why we spell things the way we do.
I imagine spelling bees went the way of fountain pens, hundreds, tens and units and school milk. Which may account for why so many children leave school as functional illiterates.
And where they find employment.
According to the BBC News website, online entrepreneur Charles Duncombe says that poor spelling is costing the UK millions of pounds in lost revenue for internet businesses.
Speaking as someone who has this very morning been ‘earneastly entreeted’ to divulge online banking details to scammers (incidentally chaps, there are two ‘l’s in Lloyds), I’d say Mr Duncombe is right.
For years, I have been the Ancient Mariner of i-before-e and other basic rules, so you’re not going to escape without a cursory glance at my mantra. Bad spelling, ill-considered punctuation (or lack of it) and random sprinklings of initial capital letters do nothing to impress prospective purchasers or encourage them to take your offering seriously.
It just makes your organization look stupid and sloppy. And if you can’t even spell properly, what other sins of product or service may you be hiding?
In my experience, being right doesn’t happen very often. But when it does, boy, is it satisfying.