Now, imagine someone finding similar bad spelling on your
corporate website. It is more common than you might think and yes, it
makes people wonder if you’re a fly-by-night operation or worse. Or is
According to homepage.ntlworld.com the top 3 words that are
misspelled on web pages are:
miniscule (actual: minuscule)
supercede (actual: supersede)
accomodation (actual: accommodation).
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer
in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is
taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a
taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae
the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a
wlohe. Amzanig huh? But deos that mkae your stie plaersurable to
Most people who surf the internet say it bothers them when they
notice spelling errors. The truth is, correct spelling is an essential
part of a well-polished website. A website is often the first part of
your business that customers see, and a good first impression is
essential to letting them know that you’re serious about what you do.
Bad spelling sends a message to readers that you don’t care about
details, which can be very dangerous for business.
is a new web tool designed to check your
website and help you fix mistakes. It will point out the number of
times you misspelled a word, offer suggestions for correct spelling,
and then input and track the changes for you. It will even check new
content as it is added, and let you choose whether you want to check
your site in Canadian, British or American English or Brazilian
There are certainly a lot of online websites that could use some
of SpellWonder’s help.
The U.S. Libary of Congress has a site of interview
the Government of Saskatchewan is working on wetland
the U.S. Department of Justice has ordered its translators to test
out new Microsooft software;
and the Center for Disease Control has prepared a report on
influenza and protecting the pubic’s health.
Yes, sometimes they are just typos but when it comes to first
impressions, a typo and a spelling mistake are pretty much the same
thing…pubic enemy #1.
(Don’t think the web is the only place spelling mistakes pop up.
My personal favourite: an article in the Globe and Mail on former CRTC
regulator Keith Spicer: “Now nearing 70, Mr. Spicer looks as vigorous
as ever, though his hair may be thinning and his waste
The man behind SpellWonder is Daniel Rostenne, who has seen a
number of embarrassing spelling mistakes in his time. Rostenne was
managing a content management company when he realized that since
clients didn’t spell check their own content before adding it to their
site, he could start a business out of doing it for them. From there,
the concept blossomed.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of people, and everyone’s first reaction
when they see spelling mistakes on the web is ‘Ugh, I can’t believe
they did that,” says Rostenne. He has been receiving rave reviews for
Spell Wonder from people who have tried it on their own web
I tried the beta version on our website and am embarrassed to say
it found 335 misspelled words on our site. Now some of them were
words that wouldn’t be in the dictionary such as Electrolux, InfoWorld
and Webby. But, what about ‘prestigous’, ‘mangement’ and ‘enganging’?
How could this happen, our site has a CMS with a spell checker!
SpellWonder’s only vocabulary obstacle is words in foreign
languages or technical words that don’t appear in a standard English
dictionary. However, the site’s technology lets you customize and
manage your own online dictionary for specialized words like webinar
and wireframe (found on the Prescient website).
Of course, spelling is just scratching the surface of online
content problems. Grammar, formatting, localized spelling (Canadian vs
U.S. spelling), using euphemisms and jargon, etc. are all important.
Check out our article, Writing for the Web
A Senior Internet Business Consultant and a regular writer and
speaker, Carmine Porco is the Vice-President of Prescient
Digital Media. For more information on Prescient’s CMS Blueprint
service, or for a free copy of the white
paper “Finding ROI”, please contact us.