RISMEDIA, Jan. 11, 2008-Despite the ready availability of free spelling and grammar checkers, 60% of all business correspondence still gets sent containing one or more grammar or spelling errors, according to the results of a study released by WhiteSmoke.
The findings are based on WhiteSmoke’s survey of 5,000 pages of business writing texts.
“The most prevalent error type has turned out to be ‘missing words,’ with 32% of writers failing to use all the words needed for a grammatically correct sentence. Words most likely to be missed are verb auxiliaries (be, have, do), prepositions (in, on, at) and determiners (a, an, the, this), and missing nouns. For example, ‘I would happy to meet you’ instead of ‘I would be happy to meet you,’” says Liran Brenner, vice president of R&D.
Further data from WhiteSmoke shows that 28% of mistakes relate to punctuation, that is, knowing when to use a period, comma or question mark. Agreement between sentence elements comes up next in 8% of the data, for instance, “One of the guy turned around” instead of “One of the guys turned around.” More problem areas are spelling, using the wrong word, repeating words and misusing verb tenses.
Vice President of Marketing & Sales Amit Greener says, “As part of raising the writing standards in organizations, every e-mail or memo sent by a staff member should be proofed beforehand. Correct language shows customers and colleagues that you value them.”
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