Writing Right: Part One

Monday, February 28th, 2011

For some of us, it jumps off of the page, screaming, “Look at me! I’m a misspelled word,” or, “Over here! This sentence doesn’t make sense because it’s missing a word.”  For others it is but an afterthought of “Oops. I knew I should have ‘spell checked’ that document.”

Large or small, typos serve as a painful reminder of our inability to edit already published works.

Many of us do not appreciate the gravity of the typo. For the record, just because everyone does it, does not make it ok. For even the most seasoned writers, when a typo is caused by nothing more than ‘fat-finger syndrome,' – when a finger accidentally hits two adjacent keys on the keyboard in a single keystroke – or a quick slip of a pinky, it still depletes the credibility of your message. Larger errors of ignorance often raise a red flag in the mind of the reader.

During my short time in corporate America, I cannot count how many times I’ve heard execs mention the quality of email composition.  Whether it was internal banter or a potential candidate’s formal correspondence, the errors in emails are always noted and have the ability to tarnish your reputation as a reliable writer. 

Email and text have become today’s preferred means of correspondence due to their ability to be quickly composed, sent, and read on the go. But most senders do not take the time to ensure those messages are error free; requiring the reader to spend extra time trying to decode the meaning ultimately reducing the effectiveness of these communication methods.

I am always surprised to discover typos, especially on websites of reputable organizations (Got Editors?). Sometimes, it is even comical.  Like these: http://shamefultypos.com/