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Errors spell disaster for online businesses
Mon, 15th Aug 2011
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The internet has arguably inflicted more damage on the English language than any other medium (with the possible exception of the mobile phone), but one British expert is extolling the virtues of the online written word.

While the quality of spelling and grammar on the internet has deteriorated under the influence of social networking – as well as humour sites like icanhascheezburger – in a retail context users will associate errors with low standards or, worse, malware.

Online entrepreneur Charles Duncombe performed a study on one of his own retail websites and found that revenue doubled following the correction of a spelling mistake, the BBC reports.

Duncombe said the results show how cutting-edge businesses can depend on old-fashioned skills, and that managers need to consider grammatical accuracy very closely when hiring new staff.

"I know that industry bemoaning the education system is nothing new,” Duncombe says, "but it is becoming more and more of a problem with more companies going online.

"This is because when you sell or communicate on the internet, 99% of the time it is done by written word.”