Spell Check Yo-self.

by Laura on September 2, 2010 · 2 comments

Oh, spelling errors, how you make me cringe and crinkle my eyes!  Might I have been an evil schoolmistress in a past life? No — more like spell check’s biggest, most rah-rah cheerleader.

Spelling mistakes CAN happen — but they really, REALLY shouldn’t.

We all write in a hurry sometimes — I mean, health bloggers are really busy people! But it’s worth making time for it. I won’t even go into why good writing matters, or why you want to put extra love in your blog because of who might see it, or how the way you put yourself forward on your blog can make or break your credibility and your brand.

Nope, not going there again.

But if there’s one single, easy thing you can do to exponentially improve your blog with almost ZERO time input, it’s ensuring that you don’t have silly spelling errors all over the place.

You don’t want to churn out blog entries so full of spelling and grammar errors your readers want grab their imaginary red pens and take a stab at your blog, or to have a great post on how you managed to pee in a bush during a thirty-mile bike ride ruined by spelling “embarrassment” wrong. And shhh, don’t tell anyone, but you don’t actually need to have won the spelling bee in sixth grade to have a great, typo-and-mistake-free blog (though fine, I’ll admit I was the spelling bee queen of my seventh grade class — yes, I’m proud to be THAT nerdy!)

You don’t need spelling bee medals to blog — that’s what spell check is for!

There are so many ways to spell check, there’s bound to be one that works for you:

  • Write your blog posts out in a word processing application. I know, word processing is so very 90’s! However, all word processing applications have spell check utilities, and grammar check, and many even have a dictionary or thesaurus. Maybe it’s the larger screen view, or feeling like I’m back in college clicking away at term paper after term paper, but I’m much less likely to gloss over mistakes when I’m writing a word document.
  • Use your WordPress spell check. Did you know that WordPress has this feature? I didn’t, either, until Rachel pointed it out to me. It’s the ABC icon with the check on it (for those who, like me, don’t pay attention to all the keys on the posting page). Make sure it’s enabled. Added bonus? Should you ever decide to start blogging in Swedish, WordPress and its nifty spell check have you covered.
  • If in doubt, Google it. Sometimes we make spelling mistakes without noticing.  Other times, we KNOW we are about to unleash orthographic hell.  When your fingers are poised over the keyboard as you try to spell “definitely” for the fourth time — and it still doesn’t look right — head on over to Google. In fact, if you can’t figure it out after two tries, just head over to Google. (Really. Go type “definatley” into Google search and see what happens. M-A-G-I-C! Humorous magic!) There’s no shame in not knowing how to spell every single word in the Merriam-Webster annotated dictionary (and, if you spell check, it’s not like your readers will find out, now, will they?)
  • Use  your search engine wisely. Firefox has a built-in spell check feature that helps you catch errors, too. It works the same as Google, so go on and try it! It’s just one more reason why I’m in love with that little fox.

Now go forth and wring every last bit of good from the technology that is at your fingertips!

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Lisa September 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I’ve been known to miss a wrong spelling in my blog posts once in awhile. I quickly correct them. I think as bloggers we have to responsible and intelligent and portray ourselves as knowledgeable…Why else would people want to read our posts? If I see a website with lots of misspellings, I won’t be a regular reader.
Lisa´s last post ..Hood to Coast- After My First Run

Libby September 2, 2010 at 4:25 pm

For editing, the After the Deadline plugin for self-hosted WordPress blogs is from HEAVEN. Seriously, it doesn’t just check spelling, but grammar, clichés, redundancies and a boatload of other stuff. I think it’s automatically enabled on WordPress.com blogs, but having it enabled on my blog with all the other options in addition to the spell-checker (phrases to avoid! passive voice!) enabled is awesome.

Hurrah for spelling and grammar!
Libby´s last post ..September 2010 Goals

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