Whether you are checking printing proofs or speeding through social media marketing, the same spelling errors are very common. Don’t look stupid.
It doesn’t matter if you are preparing your information for the social media marketing, or just producing a simple business card design in preparation for online printing, bad spelling will totally destroy your efforts. Even those who work in the business of writing can fall into these common mistakes. Highlighting some of these silly errors will hopefully help you recognise your own mistakes, and help increase your own double checking before you go live with your content or materials. Spell checkers are not guaranteed fixers for everything we write! When we are looking at type on a display screen, we are less likely to see the simplest of errors. This sounds a little strange, but it is true. The nature of type on paper means it is not just easier on the eyes, it easier to see, and therefore, it is easier to see errors.
- Lose or Loosing? This error is so common and will make you look a fool. Even when you know you are incorrect you may often overlook this silly mistake. To ‘lose’ something sounds very similar to the way we pronounce ‘loosing’.
- They’re and their and there? We all know our contractions. They help us get more down in a sentence, and they sound more natural to the reader. Mixing this one up happens all to often. Ownership is easy enough to define, and that is better that spelling that one another awful way.
- ‘I’ before ‘e’ except after c. That is a pretty straightforward rule to remember. Why do we make the same mistakes more than we should? Typos can make us look very unprofessional.
- Your or You’re. Again, this is a mistake even the best of spell checkers are unlikely to pick up on. Hopefully, you know the difference. The fact is both of these can sound the same in the mind especially when you are typing fast.
- Everytime? There is one simple rule for this one, just because you write ‘everywhere’, and ‘anywhere’ the rule every time is that ‘every’ and ‘time’, are always to be written apart.
- It’s or its? This one can play mind games even on the most experienced writers. The contraction for ‘it is’ is ‘it’s’. It is also very easy to think ‘its’ should contain an apostrophe because of ownership, especially when you are not thinking straight, or you have been reading and writing for hours.
- What ‘affect’ will ‘effect’. These two are very easy to mix up, and they may look right at the time, but to the reader they stand out as incredibly wrong when you don’t get them right. Most of the time ‘effect’ is a verb, and ‘affect’ is a noun, but this is not always the case.
- Then, not than. This error constantly turns up in content written by non-native speakers, although to those who are native you would think it to be impossible. ‘Then’ is used for time, and ‘than’ is always used for comparison. There really is little reason to mix them up. A spell checker will not catch this one either.
There are some extremely advanced grammar and spell checking software available. Whitesmoke, for example, is even used by companies like CNN. We can never completely rely on any software to check the intricacies of any language. The best way to make sure you have written something properly is to stop, and take a second look at another time. Another option is to get someone else to run his or her eyes over it. When alone, try reading aloud. It is often because we are reading in our mind we make sound-alike-based mistakes. Modern versions of language might be necessary with your online marketing, for example, Twitter marketing, but if there is room to write, with Facebook marketing, for example, make sure you get it right. Always triple-check your print proofs before you go to print. You could be making a fool of yourself over a silly mistake.