While some spelling mistakes are harmless and funny, many aren’t.
Typos and grammatical errors have the power to create confusion, a loss of clarity and the potential to wreck reputations and customer relationships.
That’s the position Auckland’s Kelly Tarlton’s unfortunately finds itself in after an alarming number of errors were spotted in its latest opening display.
As reported in the NZ Herald, explorer Robert Scott’s “accademic” “expidition” to Antarctica ended in “tradgedy” after “thier” supplies became “desperatley” low.
“That’s just five of 24 misspelt words and grammatical errors that appear in the egregiously edited electronic interface as you enter the aquarium.
“But apostrophes are missing from “New Zealands”, “Scotts” and “doesnt”, and words such as “indured”, “dissapearance” “terrtitorial”, “returtned”, “cielling” are misspelt. Perhaps most criminally, “thier” appears multiple times,” reported the article.
The aquarium’s website is no better. In its profile of Kelly Tarlton, posthumous is spelled “post-humus”, apostophes appear in random places, a crucial comma is missing from a sentence, and a question ends with an exclamation mark.
This is not a good look for an aquarium that has thousands of visitors through its doors each year – and especially right before peak school holiday foot traffic.
Mistakes happen to all of us occasionally.
But in today’s digital society, you run the grammatical risk of someone taking a screenshot of your content and sharing it before you’ve had a chance to correct the error.
The juicier your mistake, the higher your risk of viral notoriety.
In this case, the aquarium’s errors were picked up by mainstream media and faced unwanted attention.
When you write something, it leaves an impression on those who read it.
If you make spelling errors, that impression will not be positive. It’s essential that any publicly available text has impeccable spelling.
Who can forget President Trump’s infamous ‘covfefe’ tweet?
The Independent even published an article highlighting the Trump administration’s lack of care and accuracy for the written word in its first 14 months in power.
The importance of good grammar and clear communication cannot be underestimated.
It is essential to take the time to re-read content and spell-check. Especially given how the amount of screen time integrated into our daily business heightens the chance of typos creeping into our written communication, or autocorrect inserting an inappropriate word.
So next time you’re typing up an email, about to hit send on a tweet or finishing up a blog, pause for a moment and check for mistakes.
Let’s celebrate good spelling and its fundamental function in our language.
Luke focuses on helping clients with a communications style based on solid back-to-basics methods. “Sometimes paring things right back and starting with a communications audit is the best way to go. That way you’re able to survey the landscape before embarking on your communications journey.