Anyone who has been in the office with me has heard me say, “Grammar saves lives!” While it’s partially a joke, there is meaning behind it.
Now, I’m not saying everyone has to be a hardcore grammar nerd. The litany of rules about when to use commas, semicolons or em-dashes isn’t for everyone. But spelling should be, especially in professional circles.
I’ll say it … spelling matters. But it doesn’t have to be hard! Here are some tips to make sure your correspondence is putting you in the best light possible:
- Proofread! Every document should be proofread before it’s sent out. You will find most errors simply by taking the time to read something again — if possible, after you’ve set it aside for a moment and can proofread with “fresh eyes.” In regards to texts and social media this proofreading step can also keep you from a potentially embarrassing autocorrect situation.
- Spell names correctly. Sure, mistakes are inevitable, but many can be avoided by looking at a person’s signature or email address, or, when necessary, searching Google super quick. It’s not fool proof, but take it from someone with a differently spelled name, it’s appreciated!
- Applications such as Microsoft Word and email platforms now routinely spell check words for you, so make sure you use that function. These applications also can find misused words such as “their,” “there” and “they’re.”
- There are many words that sound the same but have different meanings, so even though the spelling is correct, the meaning could be wrong. Here’s a hint: the synonyms tab in Microsoft Word comes in handy when deciding between words like “complement” and “compliment” and “effect” and “affect.”
Tiffannie Bond is Imagine’s public relations director and company photographer and a grammar nerd.