When I started my career in 1976, one of my college professors always stressed the importance of good spelling. “Some of you supervisors will judge you based on your ability to spell correctly in your day to day business correspondence,” he said.
Today, my trained eyes see a variety of mistakes in print and electronic forms as well. It’s normally typo’s, such as misspellings or missed words. At times it’s using the wrong word or not using a better selection of words to say or worse yet, to sell something.
I’m not writing that it’s easy to proof copy because it’s not. In fact, it is extremely difficult to train your eyes to find an error. Yes I can pick out errors, but I also miss a few, and I can make them as well. So please, don’t send me a nasty email if I do make a mistake. I’ll use the excuse, “to err is only human.”
However, today, I find many errors that are just plain sloppy or lazy. Recently, in a well known newspaper I was reading on line, “this” was spelled this way: tiis. Not once, but three times in the article. My spell check did not like this spelled like tiis and it let me know it. So what was the problem?
Stories about unemployment are constantly in the news. Some wrote that many of the unemployed would never be re-hired by their previous company. Is this part of the problem when I see mistakes? For example, looking back at that newspaper article, I found two more typos. If I was paid to proof that article, I know there were more corrections that should have been made.
If there are less people on the payroll, then there is obviously a lack of time to get everything done. It must be that age old problem I was introduced to in my youth: “the more I hurry, the behinder I get.” It’s like poor Dagwood, the comic strip character in Blondie, who usually gets a swift kick from his boss regularly.
In this business of communicating with customers and prospects, it pays to review everything with a fine tooth comb. It pays to plan ahead and be a great manager of time.
One last parting shot. The other night, while watching TV, a commercial from PetSmart came on the air with two beautiful dogs looking very hungry. That was an easy look to get because dogs always look hungry. The young lady poured just a few morsels of food into each dog bowl. The announcer said, “It’s time to go to PetSmart.”
The next screen shot offered 30 cans of cat food for $15.00. Excuse me, but since when do dogs think canned cat food is a normal staple of their life?
I once place a few pieces of fish in our Newfoundland’s bowl among her normal dried dog food. When I returned to her bowl, each piece of fish was on the floor, and the bowl was empty.
Yes, to err is human, but the less there is the more business you can keep.