I understand that strict adherence to good grammar is, in some circles, considered to be a slightly annoying trait. And I understand that e-mail is a rapid, off-the-cuff communications medium to which formal correspondence etiquette isn’t always expected to apply.

But I’m still rather aghast that I received two e-mails today that contained spelling errors in the subject line — one a professional press release (“Reserach Highlights”) and the other, believe it or not, a job application for an editorial position (“Piublication”).

A former boss of mine in the publishing industry once sent a company-wide e-mail with a subject line that read simply “Annuincemnet.” It only confirmed for many employees how seriously he took both the contents and his audience. So is this just a one-day blip in my Inbox, or has anyone else experienced this sort of thing lately?


  1. I’m sure this is common, Jordan. Emails get composed in a rush by people who can’t really touch-type, and many don’t have or use spell-checkers. (One of the biggest gripes about WordPress is that it doesn’t have a spell-checker, so you’ll likely see typos on Slaw more than you should.) Got to say, though, if I were sending an email around my company I would spell the subject right — and probably fuss over the grammar too.

  2. Simon,

    1. The free Internet Explorer add on “ieSpell” – link here or cut and paste http://www.iespell.com/ works well with WordPress, for me.

    2. E-mail, I think, is often used as the written equivalent of talk. We don’t spell when we talk. An acquaintance from your part of the profession put it this way. He worries about typing and spelling in e-mail only when he writes to the Queen. We agreed that that was because he didn’t want to alarm her.