Spelling: It’s Not Just for the Bees


With the Scripps National Spelling Bee this weekend, we wanted to take a moment to discuss spelling. Yes, even in the age of autocorrect, and with the internet at our fingertips, spelling still matters when it comes to communicating a message. Misspelling a word is more than just an embarrassment – it can change the meaning of something completely.

Those of us who write for a living need to resist the temptation to rely on technology to save us from embarrassment or confusion. After all, these tools don’t guarantee that we’re using words correctly.

As communications professionals, the importance of correct spelling and correct grammar go beyond being error-free. In our role as communicators, clients rely on us every day to craft messages and tell stories in clear and compelling ways. The right words matter; an error can tell a different story or change the message completely.

A few things to keep in mind when writing:

  • Don’t rely only on spell check;
  • Always proofread more than once;
  • Read your work out loud; and
  • Work to improve.

We have all heard the phrase “practice makes perfect.” You can be sure that the kids competing in this weekend’s Spelling Bee practice every day. As communications professionals, we’re always refining our craft, looking for new ways to deliver messages and advocate on behalf of clients, but returning to the basics is a worthwhile endeavor. To that end, we should all watch as kids from across the country stand at a microphone and spell tricky words – including some we’ve never heard before – on national TV. Maybe we’ll learn something.