Back To School?


Hardly anyone uses a typewriter nowadays – technology has advanced dramatically but it can’t hide a lack of basic skills. Do you need to go back to school?


I came across this article on the BBC News site today. What the writer says regarding today’s standards of spelling and grammar is certainly true, in my experience. Although I trained as a scientist, I do take pride in my written English and am perfectly capable of spelling correctly and writing grammatical sentences.

If, during my travels online, I notice an error in spelling or grammar, it hits me immediately and I have to admit to feeling a certain degree of smugness – surely it’s not too much to expect web authors to be familiar with basic written English?? OK, English is obviously not everyone’s mother tongue (no matter how much we might like that to be the case!) but it should be easy enough to find someone – a friend or colleague would probably be happy to oblige – to proofread the article. It really doesn’t give a good impression for a business website or Facebook page to be full of spelling errors and clumsy grammar. There could also be adverse SEO effects…..I’m sure that Google likes correct spelling.

The most frequent errors seem to involve use of the apostrophe – e.g. “you’re” and “your”, “it’s” and “its”, “they’re” and “their”. Apostrophes are mostly used to shorten 2 words into one – “you are” becoming “you’re” and so on. However, many people apparently believe that the apostrophe denotes possession – mixing up “it’s” and “its”, where the latter is the possessive.

Other common errors involve the use of “a” or “e” in words such as “stationary” (not moving) or “stationery” (paper, envelopes etc). Oh and we won’t mention “i before e except after c”!!

The strange thing is, most email and word processing software comes with a spell checker – so why not use it if you’re not sure?

Alternatively, if you would like your article or blog proof-read, just give me a call on 01777 249075, or drop me an email, and I’ll be happy to help.

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