When actress Emma Watson, star of the Harry Potter movies, turned up at a post-Oscars party a few years ago, it was her grammatically incorrect ‘Times Up’ tattoo that made the biggest headlines.
A hastily posted ‘Fake tattoo proofreading position available’ tweet by Watson didn’t really cut it in terms of dampening down the ensuing hoo-ha.
But does any of this really matter? Well, yes, it does if you’re communicating online.
British online entrepreneur Charles Duncombe says, ‘When you sell or communicate on the internet, 99 per cent of the time it is done by the written word.’ As he rightly points out, ‘Spelling is important to the credibility of a website. When there are already underlying concerns about fraud and safety, then getting the basics right is essential.’
UK online hosiery company Tights Please found that poor spelling had a hugely detrimental effect on online sales. Their tights category page referred to ‘tihgts’. Once rectified, conversions rose by 80 per cent. In this case, better spelling really did get them out of a tight spot.
Emma Watson can no doubt afford the odd mistake; it’s unlikely she’ll miss out on a leading role as a result of one silly error. But can the same be said about your business? Can you afford to turn customers off by making a bad impression in your business communications? Are you prepared to forego winning that big contract because your submission was poorly edited and proofed?
If you want your business to look as sharp as possible, employ a professional proofreader to polish your words to let the clarity of your message shine through. If it can happen to Emma Watson…