Have a Spell Checker? Use It!

Posted on October 3, 2008 by LCT Magazine

By Jim A. Luff

I just reviewed a trip ticket for tomorrow and found the client's first name was spelled as Debrah.  Now, I have seen Deborah and I have seen Debra.  I have never seen the formal name of Debbie spelled as Debrah.  Having a last name like Luff, it is constantly butchered into Luft, Love, Loft, Loff and to make matters worse, people constantly take the two "F"'s in my last name and combine them with the "J" in my first name and inevitably call me Jeff.  This has happened all my life so I named my second son, Jeff.  Now, if you say Jeff Luff fast, it comes out as Jeff Fluff and he has been stuck with the name Fluffy for life.
On to my point about getting names right, punctuation right, the general use of capitalization and grammar.  Earlier today I visited the website of a fellow operator.  It was atrocious!  It was filled with spelling errors, typographical errors, punctuation errors and the like.  While I personally know this operator, I would take one look at this website and figure they were idiots and would never trust them with my important travel plans.
Don't think spelling and punctuation are that big of a deal?  Think about who our clients are.  If they have enough money to afford chauffeured transportation from a luxury transportation company they are probably well heeled and well educated.  Believe me, written mistake glare at them and jump off the page.
To have errors on your website is just pure laziness.  To make mistakes on your paperwork is asking for a disaster to occur.  To present a proposal containing typos to a corporate account reflects a lack of pride in your work before you even get the account.  How can you possibly expect the client is to actually believe you have pride in the service you offer if you cannot take the time to run your document through a spell checker.
Most people who don't know how to spell very well know they don't.  To those people who need a dictionary, buy one!  Webster's desk issue is $6.  If you are unsure of a word, look it up rather than make your company look like third graders are running it.  Webster's is also available online for FREE.  There are NO EXCUSES for poor spelling.
If you are unsure of a street spelling, look it up in the Thomas Guide.  Whatever you do, don't guess!  If the street is Ambrose and you spell it as Ambroce because you guess, your chauffeur may end up on Ambrice trying to guess what street you meant.
I have seen poor spelling on forums, websites, proposals, orders and a variety of other business documents and it is shocking that there is such a lack of pride in the information we handle.  We are working with corporate America.  We transport top level, intelligent executives and they expect us to be intelligent as well.  This is not grade school where an "F" in spelling gets you a butt chewing from your parents.  This is life and a spelling error could literally cost you an account worth thousands of dollars.  It is offensive to spell a person's name wrong so if you are in doubt, ask them to spell it out for you.  Never guess at spelling when conducting business.  It can be a costly mistake for sure.
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