Spell Check Won’t Catch Every Miss Steak

You consider yourself a good writer.

You’re extremely careful about what you compose.

But your sterling prose, that selling argument, those important assembly instructions can all fall flat because of a typo.

And it could be costly.

Spell Check Won’t Catch Every Miss Steak

According to six-degrees.com:

“Businesses lose millions of dollars each year as a result of typographical mistakes. In an age of global exposure and instantaneous connectivity, errors in written communications can have a hugely negative impact on consumer perceptions and create a lasting impression of carelessness. They can sabotage a first impression, reduce credibility, compromise brand positioning and diminish reputations. They undermine the clarity of branded messaging, create confusion, suggest poor communication skills and convey a lack of attention to detail. They can result in misleading or factually inaccurate information and cause consumers to question the integrity behind offerings or the abilities of a brand they perceive as uneducated and unprofessional. The possible ways in which a seemingly trivial typing mistake can have an enormous financial impact on a brand is immeasurable. The following examples include many of the most costly and well-publicized typographical mistakes of all time – where one single character, space or punctuation mark in the wrong location has resulted in catastrophic losses or had consequences that were devastating.”

-- The High Cost of Small Mistakes: The Most Expensive Typos of All Time

The Hits Just Keep On Coming

  • If you’re printing a brochure for a client, you’ll be responsible for absorbing the cost of reprinting if you missed a typo. That could mean thousands of dollars in wasted production and time.

  • If there’s a mistake in pricing in your online ad, you’re stuck with it, or you’ll have to remove it and start over.

  • If your personnel memo, production report, cost estimate, letter of agreement, or other vital document has a typo or erroneous punctuation, you could be doing yourself or others harm.

Another example:

“’To be or to be.’  That's how one of the most famous sentences in the English language began several years ago in a new edition of Shakespeare's ‘Hamlet.’ Six professional proofreaders failed to catch the mistake, which received national publicity and gave the publishing company a red face.”

-- Typo Tales, by Marcia Yudkin, Yudkin.com

You can help avoid all this.

It’s simple. Run spell check, and then proofread it yourself again. Most importantly, have a colleague read through it for you as well.  It’s not foolproof, or flawless, but it will amaze you at what “saves” will be made for the sake of syntax and your bottom line. A good editor is worth his or her weight in unforeseen expenses.

Sure, it takes a bit more time. But it’s always worth it.

So, before you dash off that next email, submit your letter, finish your resume, or make your next business proposal, step back…read it through carefully...and be sure it says exactly what you want it to.