Lots of former students have told me they worry about spelling mistakes in notes they write to me. I promise I've never returned a personal note yet with red pen marks (I actually always preferred green), and I honestly don't notice the medium when I'm caught up in the message. I LOVE getting notes – whether they're in my Facebook Inbox or on my wall, through the mail, texted, or recently – stuck in my mailbox. Last week two students who were leaving on trips stopped by to leave notes – what sweethearts to take the time in the middle of packing! Love you, Martina and Aaron! And Carson, you have a gift for knowing when I need to hear from you most!
I don't care at all about spelling errors, but if you're writing for professional reasons – whether you're querying an agent or publisher or submitting requested info to a boss – you gotta get it right. I found this poster on the Oatmeal site that covers the "it's and its" and "they're, their, and there" issues, along with some other spelling buggers, in a way that'll help you remember. Perfect for your office or dorm room (or you can print out a smaller version.) If you focus on one issue at a time and make a commitment to learn the rule, most spelling problems are pretty fixable. Old habits die hard, so it takes conscious effort. (Thank you, Alice Evans, for teaching me to spell "y'all" which I'd always spelled "ya'll" for some reason before you noticed it. I think nice thoughts about you every time I write it - which turns out to be a lot.)
In the current crappy job market, don't give an employer (or a potential one if you're resume writing) ANY excuse to choose someone else over you. Clean up your act and take care of those little problems that have bugged you for years! Unless you have a learning disability (which I totally understand because numbers are like a foreign language for me) It's not hard if you make up your mind to do it.
- Tags: spelling problems