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Does spelling count? Editor's Notes #102
July 17, 2011

When our spelling is perfect,
it's invisible.
But when it's flawed,
it prompts strong negative associations.

--Marilyn vos Savant

In this issue:

1. Does spelling count?
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site

1. Does spelling count?
Teachers sometimes want to pull out their hair when students ask, "Does spelling count?" after being given an assignment. But what about in the real world? Does spelling count there?

I often work in the online world, the ultimate venue of self-publishing. With absolutely anyone able to put up a site or a blog, standards of English are patchy in cyberspace to say the least. When I was heavily involved in reviewing sites, I often commented on the need for appropriate standards for written English. For that, I took a lot of flack. Many site owners, all of whom I was trying to help, told me not to be so negative and insisted that spelling mistakes, typos, and inscrutable grammar were no deterrent to their livelihoods.

So I was thrilled to receive a link to a BBC article about the actual cost of a spelling mistake online.

Spelling does matter! If it matters when someone is making a purchase, I think it's safe to assume that it matters when we are selling our ideas as well.

Since you subscribe to, and read, a newsletter from an editor, I assume I am preaching to the choir here. If so, I hope you find the article as heartening as I did in a world that sometimes irrationally supports the concept that spelling doesn't count. And if you didn't believe before that spelling matters, I hope this article at least gives you pause.

Looking for spelling mistakes is one of the editing services I offer.

And no, you can't rely solely on your spell checker to find your errors. According to Word, I had no errors in this short article. When I reread it, I found three: as for ask, heavenly for heavily, and out for our.


2.Tickled my funnybone
Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide


3. Interesting Web site
I've had this Web site on my list of sites to share with you for a while. It seems that the site owners are going through a stage of introspection about their viability online. This could still be worth a look. As an online literary magazine, it will especially interesting to those of you wanting to build up a portfolio of submissions.


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