On the other side of the coin….If I was a customer and I read a press release and it was full of typos and misspelled words and nonsensical sentences, I’m sure not going to want to do business with this company that, seemingly, can’t even take the time to spell check and proof read their press release. Not to mention that, with misspellings, an organization can misrepresent itself. A misspelled word could, theoretically, void a legal contract.
There is a difference between a public release and ‘official’ material, and an e-mail that someone bangs out. And I think that’s where the judgement comes in. For example, what about an online learning site? If I take the class and I see mistake after mistake, incomplete sentences, misused words, misspelled words, what am I going to think about the material on that site? How can I trust the info you’re expecting me to learn and have faith in your ability to teach me when you can’t even tell the difference between your and you’re? It can go to credibility.
I read fanfiction as part of my hobby….and this debate comes up quite often. Because you have people that proof and spell check and still have a few errors, vs those that continually have wrong words, misspellings, typos, etc.
The general consensus is: ‘innocent’ mistakes, they happen. no big deal. But constant and consistent errors? It shows or suggests that the writer really doesn’t care and if they don’t care why should I? I’ve even seen writers, when told ‘hey, you spelled this wrong’ answer ‘eh, it’s just for fun, who cares?’ Ok, fine, I’m not going to struggle through translating your mangled English just to read.
So, I think it comes to the intent or location of the mistakes. Are they in informal communications? Are they shorthand in an IM? Or a ‘on the spot’ Twitter abbreviation? Or is it a press release with wrong words or a professional publication or contract with typos and errors? I would honestly question the professionalism of a company that puts out a release full of mistakes.
Part of this whole new era is the fact that you can communicate in real time. You can follow a twitter account and ‘live’ an event as it happens. And there’s an unprecedented amount of communication out there. But what good is all this communication if your message is so mangled no one understands what you’re saying?
Call me a snob if you want 🙂