If you’ve been following links from Photomatt’s page, and other conversations both in the WP forums and elsewhere, you’ll have noticed a focus on web standards. There is talk of XHTML, RSS, Atom, CSS and various other bits and bobs. Some people – I count myself among them – like pages to validate. Some people – I do not count myself here – like to have nice graphics on their pages. There are people who will also say that although a site may have great design, it has bad content (Bad being a subjective thing here).
So there are all these people pushing forward the boundaries, creating the new while not totally abandoning the old, but it would seem that some blog authors – who want to use the latest and greatest and have it work perfectly all the time thankyouverymuch – either cannot use their spell-checker, or cannot use a dictionary. Why ask for programs to use when you are going to abuse them ?
Poor spelling is bad, very bad. I’m not talking about the odd typo here (which should be corrected as soon as you notice it) I’m talking about really poor spellings repeatedly scattered through a blog. I don’t then care if your page validates, if you’ve got some fantastic CSS techniques, if you supply feeds in every flavour – it puts me straight off. It makes you look stupid.
I saw a link to a place this morning. The link had the name of the place in it, yet when this person added the link text, they spelt it wrong. Why ?? It was there, just to the left of you typing it, did you not see ??
There are people calling for a spellchecker for WordPress. I’d not be installing it, but unless you have a real difficulty with words, can’t you just learn to spell ? If you have trouble with certain words, then learn them. You’d expect your kids to wouldn’t you ? You do expect your taxes to be spent correctly in schools ? If you have spent time crafting your blog to look the way you want, can you not treat what you say with equal reverence ?
Just to be clear, I’m not directing this at someone who has real problems, or someone who writes in AOL-speak (as bad as that is). Abbreviations (text-speak) are okay too – up to a point. Equally this is not directed at people who are maintaining blogs in different languages – this is about your native language, your ‘mother tongue’. I’m talking about people who are just too damn lazy to be bothered to read their drafts and correct any errors, or to do so if they see one in a post.
Spelling is important, really important. If you can’t be bothered to spell correctly, or to rectify an error, then what else are you too lazy to do ? It’s partly a reflection of your personality.
Bad spelling also detracts hugely from any point you are trying to make. If you want to come across as intelligent, well-read and insightful, then you do yourself no favours if you repeatedly mis-spell words. Again, it makes you look stupid – stupid for not learning how to spell it, stupid for not bothering to find out how to spell it and stupid for not correcting it.
If you don’t want to look stupid and lazy, then learn to spell.