Survival of the (Un)Fittest
"Mensa membership exceeding, tell me why and how are all the stupid people breeding."
"The Idiots Have Taken Over", by NOFX
During my time on PlentyOfFish.com, between meeting people, I was on the message boards. One particular group was dedicated to profile reviews. Given my current occupation and school background, I took it upon myself to review people's profiles, partly for general appeal to target audience, but more often than not, for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
The most common spelling mistake I would point out is "a lot." The number of times I was correcting it was highly indicative of several things, one being the low level of spelling skills among an unfortunate percentage of the users on that site. The other being lack of motivation to read and do some level of edits before submitting for review.
I'm not sure if it's just overuse of spellcheckers that have caused this (why bother learning to spell when MS Word is going to automatically correct it for you?). Either that, or it's severely de-emphasized in the school system. However, I can still recall 10th Grade English class, where the teacher was STILL telling us the difference between "a lot" (a large quantity) and "allot" (to distribute or mete out).
Um...isn't that something that you're supposed to have nailed in THIRD GRADE?
Spelling gaffes are a surefire way to blow credibility in anything, whether it be a resumé, visual presentation, or advertisement. I'm still thinking of a public service ad on the bus where they actually used "who's" (contraction for "who is") instead of "whose" (possessive article).
Stuff like this truly makes me feel better about my level of job security, given the fact that there will always be a "need" for it. But, being that no one notices spelling until something is spelled wrong, it doesn't necessarily mean that anyone will appreciate it.