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Chapter 16. Spelling Counts! > Five Electronic Spelling Tips

Five Electronic Spelling Tips

  1. Use your spell-checker program if your e-mail package is equipped with one. Remember, however, that the electronic spell checker cannot correct usage. For example, it cannot distinguish between to, two, and too; affect and effect; or its and it’s. Proofread manually first, using the electronic system for your final check.

  2. Purchase and use a good, up-to-date dictionary. Besides giving correct spellings, the dictionary is a good reference tool for proper usage and a valuable source of synonyms.

  3. Do not stop writing to look up or spell check every word that looks funny to you. Wait until your document is completely written, then go back to the beginning and proofread thoroughly.

  4. Take your time with important documents. Once you push Send, your e-mail message is on its way and probably cannot be retrieved. Never put in writing—electronic or traditional—anything that could come back to haunt you. If your document is particularly important or sensitive, you owe it to yourself to slow down and conduct a careful review of spelling, content, and mechanics. If time allows, print and proofread a hard copy before sending your document into cyberspace. When in doubt about the appropriateness of your message, impose a 48-hour cooling-off period before sending it. If time is short, ask a trusted colleague to proofread your message before you send it.

  5. Invest in a writing manual that covers the most commonly misspelled words and typical grammatical goofs. Writers often confuse word pairs that either sound alike or have similar meanings. The rule to follow is simple: If you have any doubt about the way you are using a word, look it up in the dictionary.


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