If you are good at spelling and use the Web a lot – you almost certainly notice a couple of errors every day. Can you spot what’s wrong in the examples below? How do the mistakes make you feel about the writer/product? There are lots of reasons why many words in the English language are difficult to spell.

The printing press was introduced to England at a time when the pronunciation of words was changing. The result was that spellings stayed the same while the way people actually said things moved on. A further “fossilisation” occurred in the 18th century with the publication of Dr Johnson’s Dictionary.

The inconsistencies between written and spoken English have long been recognised. Nearly 200 years ago it was pointed out that the word ‘Ghoti’ could easily be pronounced as ‘fish’ – based on the ‘GH’ from enough, the ‘O’ from women and the ‘TI’ from nation.But there’s always the spell-checker – isn’t there?

That’s certainly true and if any of the above authors had bothered to use it – their errors would have been picked up.

Clearly some people don’t use their spell-checker all of the time. Even if they did, spell checkers do not pick up on misused homonyms – words like to/two/too – that is, same pronunciation but different spelling, different meaning.

Either way, if you’re writing in a professional capacity and you misspell, or use the wrong word, people will judge you harshly. Research shows that people with misspellings on job applications and resumes are less likely to get interviews. What can you do if you recognize that your own spelling is not so good?

The reason your spelling may be poor could be down to your education – spelling has not been a high priority in many schools for some time.

Alternatively, you may have some degree of dyslexia– which can cause you to have a degree of difficulty in recognizing and spelling words.

If you are a poor speller, and also a writer, it is really important that you do make use of the spell-checker. Many of the students I have worked with know that they absolutely have to use the spell-checker – otherwise their work is almost incomprehensible.

For the rest of us, just make it a habit – something you do every time you produce a piece of writing that someone else is going to read. Poor spelling is also where Dragon NaturallySpeaking can come to the rescue during digital transcription. It can really be of great help to anybody who does digital transcription.

Dragon does not make spelling mistakes. It uses the right words from the context of your dictation (I scream v. ice cream).

Dragon can play back your dictation i.e. a recording of your voice (Premium Edition upwards) and it will read the actual words on the page.

These tools really help with your proofreading and editing.Who knows, if Mitt Romney’s team had been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking – there might be a different person residing in the White House.