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Why it’s (sometimes) ok to make typos

Posted by Stuart Walters on April 21, 2019

We’ve all experienced it – submitting a really important document and then realising you’ve made a huge typo. Not only does it feel like the end of the world but can (sometimes) but damaging to the company. And that’s what we want to discuss. Not every typo is a problem and more often than not wasting time going into too much detail won’t get you anywhere. The most important thing to remember is that content is king. Good quality content always wins, and obviously, if there’s a 100 typos in a piece that’s only 2000 words long piece, that’s a problem. But one if 5,000 words (probably) won’t make a difference.  

First of all, it can be really useful to make a joke out of it. In fact, making a joke out of an error (providing its not going to damage your business of course) can be a great solution to a ‘bad’ problem. This is also a particularly good idea if you have posted the article or whatever on social media and a consumer has noticed and commented on the error because it the perfect opportunity to engage with your customers.  

Secondly, it makes you seem human. Sure, if all your copy is full to the brim with typos you might want to sit down with your copywriters and have a chat. But, the odd typo here and there is COMPLETELY normal and actually almost impossible to avoid. The science behind proofreading suggests that it is almost impossible to spot every single error in a text (without multiple people reading the text multiple times but who has time for that?!) which means that in fact it just makes you human which can weirdly instil a large amount of trust in your brand.  

Making edit after edit after edit can be a huge waste of time and not beneficial in any way. If you are writing content for your website every single day, for example, proofreading and making changes multiple times to make sure every single sentence is perfect can be a huge waste of time because you could be spending that time in much better ways. We obviously understand the importance of proofreading, and all copy should be checked of course, but revising the copy so many times that you could recite the text by heart is never worth it just for the sake of one typo. Think about, if your article provides incredible information and you know it adds value to your customer but you spend hours proofreading and only find one tiny mistake on your 10th revision, would that really be worth it? Or will the quality of the content be enough to overlook one spelling mistake? 

Some typos are much, much more important than others. If you make a really bad typo on a really important document, this definitely needs to be corrected. But then again, this is very much likely to be picked up when you revise and proofread the copy because it’s important! If the typo is completely irrelevant it is much less likely to be picked up on because its not at the forefront of your mind – but then if this is the case, it might not be very important either.  

Our last point is that there are typos literally everywhere. This article from the BBC even claims that there are typos in the Bible, not to mention places like the New York Times and other very well esteemed publications. So, if that’s the case, we don’t need to loose sleep over missing off a letter here and there, especially when we’ve created incredible, captivating content for our readers. People care about the value they are getting from the content you create, not whether you missed a letter once or twice.  

It is important to note that we do think that good grammar and proofreading are both extremely important and can make a real difference to the quality and value of content. But we also understand that we are all very busy and want to establish the unnecessary implication that we need to go through every single piece of copy we write with the thinnest tooth comb and make sure to never ever miss a typo. Typos are not always the end of the world!  

By the way, if you spot a typo in this blog we will give you 10% any of our digital marketing services!