Success in business today relies on many things; one of them is your professionalism. The way you communicate in your business correspondence, whether in a quick email, a business report or a resume cover letter makes an impression regarding your professionalism, attention to detail and education.

Most of us no longer have the luxury of an office assistant. For those of us who are required to write and type our own reports and correspondence, spellchecker is an indispensable tool. Spelling and /or grammar check tools are included in nearly every software program available today.

As wonderful as spellchecker is, its only capable of doing so much. As with any computer command, it will do only what it's been asked to do: recognize and correct misspelled words and typos. Spellchecker is unable to recognize inaccuracies that come typing the wrong letter(s) that make a word. For example: loose or lose.

The English language is rife with homonyms, words that sound alike but have different meanings. If a word is spelled correctly but used incorrectly, spellchecker will not catch it. It is very important to proofread your work for these kinds of errors.

Short List of Commonly Misused Homonyms:
accept to accept is to receive
except other than

affect to have an influence on
effect usually a noun meaning result

its shows possession
it's contraction of it is

lose to misplace something
loose not tight, to set free

no the negative
know to possess knowledge

there a place
their belonging to them
they're a contraction of they are

to used to link words
too also
two number 2

weather meteorological condition
whether if it be the case
wether a castrated ram

which selection
witch broomstick riding crone

your belonging to you
you're contraction of you are
yore the past

Proofreading Steps After You've Completed Your First Draft:
1. Run spellchecker to correct your typos and any misspelled words.
2. Read your document to make sure that there aren't any incorrect words in your text like witch instead of which. And while you're proofreading also keep in mind your grammar and keeping your verb tense consistent.
3. Reading it out loud - this is great way to catch your errors. Also proofing paragraphs out of order will jog your brain from automatically skimming over errors.
4. If you have the time wait at least an hour from the time you composed your document to begin proofreading. This will provide you with a fresh outlook.
5. Run spellchecker again, as you may have made a few inadvertent errors while editing your work.
6. Print your document and read it again.
7. Get someone, anyone else to read your work, as it's so easy to overlook your own mistakes.
8. Run spellchecker one last time before printing out your final document.

If you've followed these guidelines, send your document off with confidence that you've made a good impression!

Below is an humorous poem about the importance of proofreading over relying on spell check. You may have seen this on the internet, it's been circulating for a few years.

Candidate for a Pullet Suprise
by Jerrold H. Zar

I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when eye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore a veiling checker's
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we're lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.

Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know fault's with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.

Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word's fare as hear.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw's are knot aloud.

Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.

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