I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.  
It plane lee marks four my revuespellchecker-image
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

My son is a journalist and he sent me an article recently because he  rather liked this poem in it.  It got me thinking about spelling and how tricky it can be when using English for business.

English spelling is just not logical. So, if you know you are “bad at spelling”, you are not alone. However, it is still true that a misspelled word does unfortunately give a bad impression. A typo, on the other hand, is more excusable – as long as there is only one.

And as the poem illustrates, a spellchecker isn’t always the answer. If the word exists in the English language your (you’re, yore) mistake will not be indicated.

Improving your spelling will help you improve your professional English!


For important or frequent words it is worth finding a trick or mnemonic to help you remember. Personally, I use these spelling reminders for words I find particularly hard:

stationery     – e for envelopes and pens

stationary      – a for cars

compliment   – i because it’s the opposite of an insult

complement – e because it adds something extra


When proof-reading copy, an email or letter for example, read it from the end backwards. This way you will notice mistakes more easily because you will not be anticipating what comes next as you do when reading normally.


The best solution is the old one: always read through your writing at least twice to check it makes sense and has no mistakes.

For more tips about improving English and using English for Business, download our free e-book “International Business Tips”.

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