Does spelling and grammar matter in an email?

Tuesday March 1st, 2011, 9:30 am

Yes, according to a recent survey we conducted. 21% consider spelling mistakes are unprofessional and 79% feel they convey a sloppy image of you as the sender.

Most people like the emails they receive to be grammatically correct. 29% feel poor grammar is unprofessional and 63% feel it makes you look sloppy.

Indeed one of the fist questions I am often asked when running a workshop is ‘will you teach people how to write a good business email’.  Not surprising so few young workers have good email etiquette when school teachers send out emails littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

What is your opinion? Does a poorly worded and constructed email annoy you?

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4 responses to “Does spelling and grammar matter in an email?”

  1. What a load of rubbish……Don't know about you or anyone else……….But, my set up, detects any spell'in errors, and corrects them…..! 🙂
    AND…When it comes to spell'in….It's the individual that counts….Face value counts more than 'silly' spell'in mistakes…..!
    “Faccia a Faccia, Mano a Mano”
    (Face to face, Hand to Hand)
    To hell with the spell'in…..Spelling…..!

  2. I work in a large global corporation in UK as an IT Consultant, and receive up to 100 emails every day. It is unusual if they do not include spelling and grammatical errors. Some recent examples are:


    Market stalls are famous for signs like: “Finest apple's”

    My instinct is to ask “Finest apple's what? Finest apple's pips? Stalks? Skins?

    Does any of this matter, or are we doomed to descend into a world of no punctuation, poor grammar and mobile phone text-speak?

    That's my grump for the day.

  3. Language evolves and changes, and always has done. We might be in the middle of a seismic shift brought about by text messaging and distinct changes in the way our young people speak.

    However, there is still a need for a common standard of spelling and grammar, and nowhere is this more important than in business.

    Personally, the only grammatical rule that I am happy to break is the split infinitive. It's based on Latin grammar, where it is impossible to split the infinitive, and I find it clunky and unnatural.

    I shall continue to happily split my infinitives, because happily to split them, or to split them happily just sounds wrong.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Agree, Murray, just because it has been introduced to the English Dictionary doesn't mean it should be used in business emails.

    “well good”, a bad evolution of the language for generation Y, but not used by generation X.