A missing apostrophe can be more than just an amusing error for business trading online

A missing apostrophe can be more than just an amusing error for businesses trading online

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big impact. On a recent Facebook thread I came across, the misuse of the word ‘there’, which should have read ‘their’, had kicked up a storm – completely off-tangent from the original thread, which happened to be about children’s shoes. More people were riled by this little misspelling than by the topic itself. So what does it matter really? There, their, they’re – more people get tripped up by these little words than would really care to let on. And then there’s the dreaded apostrophe, which is a constant headache for pub signs nationwide – The Kings Head, The Queens Arms (sic). For grammatical pedants these errors can grind, for many they may seem humorous – there’s even a website dedicated to apostrophe errors, but for anyone in business grammatical mistakes actually matter more than you might think. Studies show that a single spelling error can cut a company’s online sales by half. Not surprising when you consider how wary people are of online scams and fake websites. When it’s your image and your credibility on the line, those typos really can make all the difference. Write something incorrectly and you might end up a laughing stock. Get it right, and you’ll assert yourself as a credible brand and ultimately you’ll get bigger sales. If you’re not going to invest in a professional copywriting or proofreading service, then make sure you’ve got the tools at hand to prevent you falling into the bad grammar trap.

  • Always have a dictionary to hand
  • Never rely on your computer’s spell check
  • Get a second, third, and even fourth pair of eyes to check over your work
  • Take time to read over your words before you post them online
  • If you do make a mistake, rectify it immediately

Sometimes spelling mistakes cost big – even it’s just a matter of one little letter.