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Spelling mistakes 'cost millions' in lost on-line sales


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#1 Hum

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 11:15

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".

Sales figures suggest misspellings put off consumers who could have concerns about a website's credibility, he says.

The concerns were echoed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), whose head of education and skills warned that too many employers were having to invest in remedial literacy lessons for their staff.

Mr Duncombe, who runs travel, mobile phones and clothing websites, says that poor spelling is a serious problem for the online economy.

"Often these cutting-edge companies depend upon old-fashioned skills," says Mr Duncombe.

And he says that the struggle to recruit enough staff who can spell means that this sector of the economy is not as efficient as it might be.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics published last month showed internet sales in the UK running at £527m per week.

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#2 articuno1au

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 12:05

I can vouch for this.

I won't touch a site with spelling mistakes on it :\

#3 Mr Nom Nom's

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 12:50

Anyone remember having spelling tests every week - competitions in the class who could get the most right x number of weeks in a row? tell anyone under 18 these days and they'll think you're pulling their leg. Yes back in my days we used to have spelling tests, reading comprehension exercises (read a book then answer a set of questions afterwards) plus basic language concepts such as nouns, verbs, adverbs, proper nouns, adjectives etc.

#4 firey

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 13:33

Anyone remember having spelling tests every week - competitions in the class who could get the most right x number of weeks in a row? tell anyone under 18 these days and they'll think you're pulling their leg. Yes back in my days we used to have spelling tests, reading comprehension exercises (read a book then answer a set of questions afterwards) plus basic language concepts such as nouns, verbs, adverbs, proper nouns, adjectives etc.


I remember these, I don't know about other countries, but we had/have grade 3 and grade 6 testing. Then in grade 10 we had to do a literacy exam, you couldn't graduate high school unless you got (I think 75%) on the literacy thing. I mean, I haven't been in grade 10 in nearly 7 years so it may have changed.. but still

#5 Charisma

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 14:03

Anyone remember having spelling tests every week - competitions in the class who could get the most right x number of weeks in a row? tell anyone under 18 these days and they'll think you're pulling their leg. Yes back in my days we used to have spelling tests, reading comprehension exercises (read a book then answer a set of questions afterwards) plus basic language concepts such as nouns, verbs, adverbs, proper nouns, adjectives etc.

Wait, they don't do that anymore? O_o

No wonder spelling is so atrocious these days! I wondered. Yes, I won't order from a website with spelling mistakes either, and I used to have a small side business doing editing for people. Spelling and grammatical errors tend to "jump out" at me, I guess because I did well with those lessons in school and I value the written word. It kills me when I see a billboard or sign outside a business with mistakes like that! Couldn't possibly spend my money there, and yet most people don't seem to notice or care =/

#6 Yusuf M.

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 14:16

I don't mind typos but blatant spelling errors and poor grammar push me away from most sites.

#7 Farstrider

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 14:35

I can vouch for this.

I won't touch a site with spelling mistakes on it :\


Agreed, sites like this are, quite simply put, unprofessional!

I don't mind typos but blatant spelling errors and poor grammar push me away from most sites.


Once again, I totally agree with this sentiment!

That said, even typographical errors are basically spelling errors and 99% of them should be filtered out by a simple proof reading process. Most programs, from web browsers to word processing programs, have spell checkers! At the end of the day you are being unobservant, lazy and unprofessional by allowing errors to appear on business sites!

#8 vetneufuse

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 14:35

Wait, they don't do that anymore? O_o

No wonder spelling is so atrocious these days! I wondered. Yes, I won't order from a website with spelling mistakes either, and I used to have a small side business doing editing for people. Spelling and grammatical errors tend to "jump out" at me, I guess because I did well with those lessons in school and I value the written word. It kills me when I see a billboard or sign outside a business with mistakes like that! Couldn't possibly spend my money there, and yet most people don't seem to notice or care =/


I know for a fact they have spelling tests weekly in our schools locally all the way through high school... have one week to know how to spell 10 words (elementary until grade 3) 20 words (elementary until grade 6) 25 words middle school until grade 9, and 30 words by 12th grade per week, increasing in difficulty as you get older

#9 draklin

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 14:48

Wait, they don't do that anymore? O_o

No wonder spelling is so atrocious these days! I wondered. Yes, I won't order from a website with spelling mistakes either, and I used to have a small side business doing editing for people. Spelling and grammatical errors tend to "jump out" at me, I guess because I did well with those lessons in school and I value the written word. It kills me when I see a billboard or sign outside a business with mistakes like that! Couldn't possibly spend my money there, and yet most people don't seem to notice or care =/


My father was like that as well. He was a journalism professor and he couldn't read the major news paper because he always saw too many mistakes and it annoyed him to no end.

#10 v1ewer

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 15:06

thatz eczactley wy i dount reed forrums lycke thiz 1 :-)

#11 earlcaulley

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 17:41

When I tell a kid a certain word is misused, he just says, "Well Word didn't correct it!" Like it's Microsoft Word's job to make you look smart. :rolleyes:

#12 +da00

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 17:44

can sum1 plz tell me wut dis post is about?

I dnt undrstnd. plz explain

#13 SirEvan

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 17:52

can sum1 plz tell me wut dis post is about?

I dnt undrstnd. plz explain


u fergot "k thnx bai"

#14 +Frank B.

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 17:52

can sum1 plz tell me wut dis post is about?

I dnt undrstnd. plz explain

/me slaps da00

Don't. Just don't. Every time you type like this the FSM kills a kitten.

#15 +da00

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 17:54

/me slaps da00

Don't. Just don't. Every time you type like this the FSM kills a kitten.


but im only using de inglish skillz i lrnd in skewl.
plz, no hate.

dnt c y.