I suppose I was in a nit-picky mood, but it was one of those days when spelling errors kept jumping out at me.
First, I was researching event planners and came across a site based in India that had a column titled “Tit-Bits.” I am sure that the writer intended tidbits, “choice morsels,” but the image of “tit bits” is a little disturbing. After doing some research, I found that “titbits” is an acceptable substitute for tidbits, but also the name of a closed men’s magazine. I like the company by the same name that provides breast prostheses for cancer patients.
Then, I received an email from someone who said they enjoyed traveling and seeing wildlife like “grisly bears.” Now, if the bear bites off a piece of your leg, that would be grisly, but the species of brown bear common in the Rocky Mountains is “Grizzly.” According to Discovery, you should definitely stay away from a mama Grizzly and her cubs.
One of my favorite spelling errors was about a month ago when I was reviewing minutes from a board meeting. Committees were to review their “rolls and responsibilities.” I guess that meant someone was bringing doughnuts!
Everyone makes spelling and grammar errors from time to time, and some folks, knowingly or unknowingly, leave these errors on their websites, their brochures, and in their newsletters. When I get an email from a business with these errors, I rarely read further. I believe a truly professional business will take the time to communicate professionally. It’s those emails with poor grammar and spelling that are usually a scam by a non-English speaker.
If your strength is in numbers and business, you may need help with written communications. That’s where a freelance writer or editor can help you with your collateral and correspondence. At the very least, if you’re prone to confusing “they’re” and “their” or the spelling of “believe” and “conceive”… have someone look over your work. You’ll make a better impression to your future clients.
- Is desktop publishing eroding grammar and spelling? (teleread.com)
- When does an error damage a reputation? (nitpickersnook.wordpress.com)