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Business communications survey

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Thursday January 10, 2008 )

It seams that even tho spull and grandma chocking is avvailable in jist about evry werd prosessing app; 60% of all written business communications contain one or more grammar or spelling errors.

The findings are based on WhiteSmoke’s survey of 5,000 pages of business writing texts. According to the company, the most commmon errors are missing words, with 32% of communications omitting a word or words needed for a correct sentence.

28% of mistakes relate to punctuation and errors in agreement between sentence elements came it at 8%.

I used to be such a stickler for grammar back in the days when I used to actually write with a pen – thanks to my teachers. Even when I was part of the suit and tie brigade in the corporate well, I would agonize over sentence structure.

Even though I now lay down many thousands of words a week more than back in those days; I can’t say my writing style has improved much – in fact I think it’s become worse. Damn the focus on keyword rich text in my earlier online business years :). I’m slowly relearning the art of writing with the reader and flow more in mind than search engines; but those habits die hard. I also find I tend to write more casually; almost in the way I speak (without the added nasal Aussie twang and slurring).

Spelling and grammar are so important though – how many times have you opened an email from someone wanting to partner with you or sell you something and the text is loaded with errors? Did it change the way you perceived the offer? I do think that it impacts on credibility straight off the bat.

I think I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but I used to work with an ex-bank manager who had a very interesting method of culling job applications. If he found a single spelling or grammatical error in the application, he would bin it immediately; regardless of the person’s qualifications and experience. His opinion was if the application was meant to represent the person at their best, what would they be like at their worst? It was brutal, but I can understand the logic.


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