Thursday, April 10, 2008

Are you a bee or a bust? Take the test

Could the spelling mistake be lurking in this photo by

Do you think spelling mistakes matter so much in the online world? Does a mistake in Web copy matter as much as an error in a print ad?

It seems spelling is a casualty of the growing use of icons :), abbreviations like (WTH) and prompts on cell phones.

A new report released yesterday finds many American adults can't spell the ordinary words (many used in business every day) contained in the test below. But they thought they could. And only 59% use a spellchecker, finds the survey by Whitesmoke.

Yet 86 percent of the participants thought it was important to be able to spell properly and 89 percent said they were bothered by their colleagues' spelling errors.

I am with them. Bad spelling bugs me, online and off. Yet the online world is full of it. As a blogger, the urge to hit "publish post" without proofing first or hitting the spell check is overwhelming at times. I admit, my friends, that I've fallen prey to that evil, I have given myself over to weakness and skipped this important step. And e-mail? It's a lost cause.

And what happens the minute you hit the print or publish button without proofing? A big fat spelling mistake appears out of nowhere and lands in your headline or somewhere incredibly obvious.

Maybe no one will see it. But chances are, an important prospect may be looking at your site that moment. What will they think? What do you think when you see a silly mistake like that?

Want to see how your spelling compares? Test your spelling of 12 words from the WhiteSmoke Survey. Correct answers and the percentage of those who got the wrong spelling appear below. Pick the correct spelling of each of these words:


a. Calendar

b. Calender

c. Calandar


a. Embarrass

b. Embaress

c. Embarass


a. Necassary

b. Necessary

c. Neccessary


a. Accomodate

b. Accommodate

c. Acommodate


a. Separete

b. Separate

c. Seperate


a. Occured

b. Occurred

c. Ocurred


a. Existance

b. Existence

c. Existance


a. Liaision

b. Liason

c. Liaison


a. Definitely

b. Difinately

c. Definitly


a. Ocurence

b. Ocurrence

c. Occurrence


a. Questionairre

b. Questionaire

c. Questionnaire


a. Referring

b. Refering

c. Refferring

1- a (19%) , 2 – a (24%), 3 – b (3.5%) , 4 – b (38%), 5 – b (27%), 6 – b (27%), 7 – b (30%), 8 – c (31%), 9 - a, 10 – c(29%), 11 – c (40%), 12 – a (28%)

0 Wrong - You are a champion speller

1 - 4 Wrong - Average - Use spellchecker and proofread carefully

5 - 8 Wrong - Use spellchecker, proofread carefully and learn one new word a week

9 - 12 Wrong - Use spellchecker, get someone else to proofread and learn one new word a week

By the way, if you can find a spelling mistake (other than the ones in the test) in this post (using Merriam Webster as the official arbiter), I'll send you a free copy of our print publication, The Internet Marketing Report.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online blog editor Julie Power on Thursday April 9 at 9 a.m.


1 comment:

Dave J. said...

Good list, I trip on these repeatedly.

My recommendation: Use Firefox. Spell check in your browser will save your online reputation.