Spelling mistakes 'cost millions'


An online entrepreneur says that poor spelling is costing the UK millions of pounds in lost revenue for internet businesses.

Charles Duncombe says an analysis of website figures shows a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half.

Mr Duncombe says when recruiting staff he has been "shocked at the poor quality of written English".

He says the big problem for online firms isn't technology but finding staff who can spell.


When recruiting school and university leavers, Mr Duncombe says too many applications have contained spelling mistakes or poor grammar.

"Some people even used text speak in their cover letter," he says.

Even among those who appeared to be able to spell, he says that a written test, without access to a computer spellchecker, revealed further problems with spelling.

William Dutton, director of the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University, says that in some informal parts of the internet, such as Facebook, there is greater tolerance towards spelling and grammar.


The 25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words - Quiz

Webchat with Clare Winstanley, author of Spelling Made Magic

Spelling is important and it shows just how much people have come to rely on a computer rather than learn for themselves

I think that spelling is very important. I go onto some other forums and I hate reading the posts that have mostly text speak and no punctuation. I just find them really difficult to read.
Mind you, I think that it was the financial Times the other day which spelt Richard Murdoch's name wrong on their front page - they spelt it Murdock. So not much hope if they can get it wrong :)

I use a local forum too and someone was publicising their cake making business the other day. Her spelling in the forum posts was bad enough, but there were also errors on the website. Someone advised her to have it checked if she wanted to get any business from it.

Yep, if someone can't get their website right, how are they ever to get your order right?? especiallly if it is something hand made.

mondoemum wrote:
Mind you, I think that it was the financial Times the other day which spelt Richard Murdoch's name wrong on their front page - they spelt it Murdock.

Maybe they were implying he should be in the 'dock' of court, before being sentenced?

Makes me cringe when I see websites, official correspondence etc with poor spelling and grammar. Had a flier through from a local window cleaner yesterday, with at least three mistakes in one business card sized ad. Now, whether or not the man can spell will have no effect on his ability to clean my windows, but it still put me off.

I wonder though whether attitudes will gradually change. Our children's generation will, in all probability, not notice mistakes so much (because a lot of them won't have been taught spelling properly themselves) and even if they do, may not really care.

My boys are at the age where they point out other people's spelling mistakes with amazement "he can't even spell xxx". They are both good at spelling so far, so I hope that it lasts and they will always care about accuracy. However, given how text speak is spreading, I think generally you may be right.

My DD isn't bad at spelling per se, but she seems to spell things wrong on purpose when she is on FB, her mobile etc as it seems to be the done thing with teens.

I noticed this story yesterday morning and was going to post it but Micheal was too quick for rme!

I would definitely be put off buying something from an internet site that contained spelling mistakes. My first impression would be 'sloppy'.
You'd think at least they could run it all through a spellcheck even if they are not very good at spelling.

ursh x

People sometimes get the A and the E the wrong way round in my name...
*mutters darkly*