White paper typos can be deadly in white papers. Some people who make a mistake shrug and say, “nobody’s perfect.” Others think typos are just a tiny issue and not worth addressing. What they don’t realize is those pesky typos have a more insidious side. Even if we brush them off at a conscious level, they send a message to the subconscious part of our mind that controls our beliefs and attitudes.

White paper typos take several forms

Today, when we talk about typos, we mean misspellings, incorrect homonyms and similar items, in addition to true typographical errors. All those mistakes have two things in common.

White paper typos suggest carelessness

First, typos and misspellings suggest your company is careless and imprecise, and most people shy away from companies that appear that way. If your white paper mentions “air condishoners,” I’m not going to hire you to fix mine. Those “unimportant” mistakes are the written equivalent of showing up to a meeting with a big glob of mustard on your shirt or food residue around your mouth. Humans react to visual impressions, and no matter how kind or talented you may be, the impression those things present is that you’re a slob.

White paper typos can change meanings

Second, using the wrong words or incorrect grammar can make subtle changes in the meaning of your messages, and you may not even realize it. The classic example on social media is the distinction between “Let’s eat, Grandma!” and “Let’s eat Grandma!” If the message isn’t clear to you, know that one suggests that Grandma is your dinner companion, while the other suggests she’s really the main course.

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