Ok, I'm not talking about simple typos. I can make typos like anyone else, but I don't like it. I try to reread anything I write before posting, on blogs and on newsgroups. With my blog, if I find a typo, I can go back and correct it and will always do that. With really nasty typos in newsgroup messages, I will post a followup correction. For my published writing, there are teams of editors to seek out and destroy my typos, but still a few always slip through.
But does it matter? Is it important to spell correctly and use proper grammar? I am probably a bigger stickler than most people, and I understand in a quick blog post, you don't want to spend hours with an editor. But how about reading over what you've posted just for something obvious? There are always spellcheckers, too. (My blog writing spellchecker doesn't recognize the word 'spellchecker'.) I know they don't catch everything, but many people let things slip through that would be easily caught.
And what about in emails? Does it matter in email to friends? What about to colleagues? What about to current or prospective clients? What about on your website?
I have had business associates who thought that spelling and grammar did not matter at all. After seeing mistakes in letters to prospective clients, I would always offer to proof read anything before it was sent out. I was told that it didn't matter because the writer was a technie, and that clients would judge them on their technical skills, not their writing skills. I always wondered how anyone could be sure that they had never lost work because of this. If someone was put off by the writing, they might just not respond and never explain why.
Yesterday, I saw a horrible paragraph on a website advertising a conference. In one paragraph, there were several basic spelling and grammar errors. But in the same paragraph, they wrote one of the speaker names as Willinam instead of William. And for another speaker, they totally mangled his topic, repeating words from part of the description later in the sentence. (I guess they had meant to move words around, but did a 'copy and paste' instead of 'cut and paste'.)
The grammar mistakes I see most often are:
incorrect use of its and it's
incorrect use of your and you're
incorrect use of "I" as the object (ex: The invitation was sent to my boss and I. -- yuck!)
(I just googled and found that ZDNet does think we should care, and has this list of top 10 grammar mistakes that make us look 'stupid'.)
Spelling mistakes are too common to enumerate.
So should I just give up caring? Please note that this is absolutely positively NOT directed at any particular blogger, especially none of my esteemed colleagues on SQLBlog. This post was triggered by the Conference Website I saw yesterday, but has been bugging me for a long time. I was just wondered if it bugged anyone else?