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Spelling mistakes 'costing the country millions'

14th July 2011

Basic spelling mistakes are costing the UK millions of pounds in lost revenue from online retailers, entrepreneur Charles Duncombe has claimed.

According to Mr Duncombe, director of the Just Say Please group, many companies are also rejecting candidates whose attributes could have made a major difference to their organisations, as their applications contained avoidable spelling mistakes.

He explained to the BBC that basic errors on many websites are often enough to put a customer off forever, while he has been 'shocked at the poor quality of written English' when recruiting staff for his online businesses, given their output could have a significant bearing on business performance.

'If you project this across the whole of internet retail then millions of pounds worth of business is probably being lost each week due to simple spelling mistakes,' Mr Duncombe, explained.

According to William Dutton, director of the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University, the relaxed attitude towards spelling and grammar on social networking sites may be contributing to the dip in overall standards.

Meanwhile, James Fothergill, head of education and skills at the Confederation of British Industry, said the government needs to make the improvement of basic literacy and numeracy skills among school leavers 'a top priority'.

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