The Skill and Art of Business Writing: An Everyday Guide and Reference

By Harold E. Meyer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
Why Spelling?

Why Learn to Spell Correctly?

The point of spelling correctly is clear understanding by your reader. You can't substitute plain for plane or rite for right or bad for bid. If your word processor has a spell check program, by all means use it, but be aware that it will not distinguish between too and two or there and their. If your communication leaves the office with spelling errors, you can't blame your typist because you should have reviewed the document before you signed or approved it.

We are all human and make occasional mistakes, but spelling errors are not readily forgiven. All your readers, from your boss to your spouse to your brother to your sister to your father or even to your mother, judge you by your spelling. Why? Because, with few exceptions, words have only one correct spelling.

A sampling of the exceptions follows. The first spelling is the preferred one:

acknowledgmentfulfil or fulfill
or acknowledgementtaboo or tabu
adviser or advisortradable or tradeable
ax or axetunneling or tunnelling
bluing or blueingtying or tieing
cacti or cactuseswedded or wed

Learning that a word has more than one correct spelling can be an interesting experience as the next paragraph illustrates.

When I arrived in San Francisco from the Seattle area, I was surprised to see

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The Skill and Art of Business Writing: An Everyday Guide and Reference
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • How This Book Will Help You Write Clearly ix
  • Chapter 1 - Understandable Sentences 1
  • Chapter 2 - Action in Sentences 26
  • Chapter 3 - Order in Sentences 54
  • Chapter 4 - Positive Sentences 87
  • Chapter 5 - Words in Sentences 109
  • Chapter 6 - Sensible Paragraphs 144
  • Chapter 7 - Topics of Paragraphs 167
  • Chapter 8 - Tie It All Together 182
  • Chapter 9 - Composition Techniques 207
  • Chapter 10 - Why Spelling? 232
  • Chapter 11 - Punctuate It This Way 251
  • Chapter 12 - Three Diverse Reports 270
  • Chapter 13 - Confusing Words Clarified 286
  • Chapter 14 - Glossary of Terms 319
  • Bibliography 341
  • Index 345
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