Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Price of Typos

Virginia Heffernan writes about the growing incidence of misspellings and errors in publishing. She supposes that the editorial process has sped up in recent years and involves more computers and fewer humans which explains why this may be. It is very annoying and distracting to be enjoying a book and finding the wrong form of a word used or to find spelling errors. Heffernan's article suggests that perhaps poor spellers think differently and should not be judged harshly. It also points out that poor spelling can actually hurt business beyond making a bad impression.

While the idea that sloppy spelling can sink whole businesses seems far-fetched, even casual bloggers recognize the imperative to spell well online. This is because search engines look for strings of characters in sequence, and if your site has misspellings, Google is less likely to list it at the top of search results. With misspellings, according to the tech site Geekosystem, “You aren’t going to get nearly as many hits as you deserve.” The imperative to spell correctly on the Web, and attract Google attention, means that even the lowliest content farmer will know that it’s i-before-e in “Bieber.”


Roger Owen Green said...

Others have blamed typos on working too fast, and doing things on the cheap. See THIS.

Josée Fonseca said...

Personally, I notice many more errors in published books, particularly ebooks than I ever did before and I can only think it is a rush to press and skipping any proofreading. The type of errors made are so consistent that they demonstrate the author's knowledge which I find very hard to overlook. It is a huge detraction from the work for me.