I’m a person who can’t read a menu without finding typos. It’s like a disease, really. Cesars’ salad and Chefs Specail drive me ‘round the bend. The world is a dangerous place for those who had good spelling beaten into them (not literally, thank God) by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

So I was amused to see Steve Rubel’s link to a post at 901 am about the 10 most misspelled/mis-used words in blogs. I was even more amused to find one of the listed typos in another post at 901 am (it was it’s for its, in case you’re interested).

I am not perfect, so I’m sure the astute reader can find typos in my posts. I like to think that I can, however, avoid the most egregious errors:
1. Your – you’re
2. Then – than
3. Its – it’s
4. To – too – two
5. Were – where – we’re
6. There – their – they’re
7. A – an – and
8. Off – of
9. Here – hear
10. Lose – loose

Just this week I found major bloopers in an otherwise excellent book I’m reading, including peddle for pedal and flare for flair. Eeek. My friends at the Inside PR podcast recently featured discreet and discrete on their Inside Proper English segment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this pair of words confused.

So what’s the big deal? I believe that you can alienate readers if your posts are littered with typos. My solution: take a few minutes to proof posts before hitting SAVE. I don’t catch everything, but I often do stop bloopers before they enter my little space in the blogosphere.

10 COMMENTS

  1. LOL, Sue, I see the wet/whet error ALL THE TIME. Many people probably don’t know the difference at this point, because the wrong word is used so frequently. Here’s another one I heard on the CBC the other day: incidences (instead of incidents). This woman kept repeating the word; I wanted to scream.

    As for you, Lee, stop bothering Sue. ;-))

  2. You’re right, Dave. Last week I heard someone say, “A funny antidote…”

    When I do my writing workshops I show the people a list of frequently confused words. I guess I should update my list! Thanks for commenting.

  3. I can forgive spelling errors in blogs because they’re not necessarily polished works of art. What does put my teeth on edge are the many newly published books, by reputable publishers, that are filled with typos and copy editing errors. I have to read them with pencil in hand, correcting as I go. Are publishing companies just using Spellcheck and not bothering to pay skilled humans to check for context? It’s outrageous.

  4. I wonder about this, too, Gloria. Over the years, I think newspapers and book publishers have let their copy editors and proofreaders go. And many of their junior hires don’t know a semicolon from an exclamation point.

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