Why Do So Many People Spell So Poorly?

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Celebrate National Punctuation Day on September 24th!

When I was in school, at least, the teachers hammered good spelling down your throat. No graded paper was complete without the dreaded red pen marks of poor spelling. You quickly learned that your teachers would not tolerate misspellings, especially of words like "your/you're", "it's/its", and "they're/their/there".

I personally hate the last one the most. Frankly, of the three, it is the easiest to correct, because all you have to be aware of is the context of the sentence. "They're" is "They are", "their" is possessing something like "their chair", and "there" is a location or destination, as in "I'm going there."

Yes, I Know I'm Ranting. I Can't Help Myself...

How many frustrating times have I read incorrect use of word spelling on a website or in a professional marketer's own email or newsletter? "You have to visit there site" or "They're site is interesting" or even "Go their now."

Argh! Hey, people! Spell-checkers won't catch those. There is a reason that writing instructors, mentors, proofreaders, and editors all holler at you to proofread your copy, no matter how short it is. Don't trust the doggone spell-checker. It isn't perfect. Better yet, if it is crucial written material — like an ebook, a website sales page, or an email designed to sell — have *someone else* read it, too.

There's nothing that screams "I couldn't be bothered to check my work so you see me at my best" more than poor spelling. If you struggle with spelling issues, or even if you just hurry too much and don't catch things, please step back and take the time. It will enhance your reputation and decrease the interruption level of your marketing that happens when a spelling mistake jars people out of the spell your copy is spinning around them.

By the way, if you catch a spelling mistake on my site, please let me know. I'm not perfect either, but I work hard to avoid those kinds of mistakes.

How about you? Do you struggle with spelling? Do you or someone you know hurry when you dash off your emails and get caught with your pants down at times? What word spellings give you problems?