Grammar Tip – The Importance of Spelling

Whenever I ask if spelling is important in business documents, most people immediately say that it is not so important any more. However, upon reflection they begin to change their minds and recall their pet spelling peeves. I find that while spelling may not matter to writers, it certainly impacts readers.

The results of a 2006 survey by OfficeTeam support this. Two hundred and fifty executives in the United States were asked, “How many typos in a resume does it take for you to decide not to consider a job candidate for a position with your company?” The result: more than 80 per cent of the executives surveyed said they would lose interest in a candidate if they found two typos. Of this number, forty-seven per cent had a tolerance level of only one typo.

With spell-check there is no excuse for blatant errors. However, spell-check cannot catch words that are spelled correctly but are not the right words for the sentence, e.g., typing “form” instead of “from.”

To pick up your personal keyboarding “finger slips” in lengthy documents, I suggest you identify the words you frequently mistype and then use the computer’s search option to check for and to correct those particular “typos.”

Spelling may differ from country to country. As discussed in an earlier BizWtitingTip, we have American, British and Canadian spelling. Use the spelling the reader is familiar with, and then you will not distract him or her from your message.??In addition to resumes, I am sure executives are equally disappointed when they find spelling errors in other business documents.

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