June 06, 2013

Which Social Network Will Win the Online Spelling Bee?

How many times have you read a tweet, Facebook status update or blog post that had a handful of misspellings? Sure abbreviations are fine—we have definitely seen our fair share ofYOLO, or “you only live once”—but recently the amount of misspellings has all of us scratching our heads asking why.

With over 700,000 messages being shared on Facebook per minute and 175,000 tweets sent over Twitter every 60 seconds, it is more evident than ever before that society’s online writing skills are becoming increasingly illiterate, according to recent reports. So which social network is the biggest culprit? Recently, Brandwatch and mycleveragency released an infographic illustrating which networking site takes the cake.

Not surprisingly, Twitter took the number one spot for “Social Spelling Hall of Shame,” followed by Google+ and Facebook. In fact, Twitter users were twice as likely to abandon grammatically correct English language compared to Facebook users and are 25 percent more likely than Google+ individuals. Interestingly, Twitter users in the U.S. (0.56 %) were more likely to misspell words than users in the UK (0.53%). The illiteracy doesn’t stop there; in fact, it’s getting worse. In 2011, one in 172 tweets were illiterate, in 2012 it was one in 175 and today it’s one in 179.

In terms of gender, one in 169 females are less likely to use regular English, using words like “sooo,” “ loool,” “urgh,” and “awww.” On the flip side, one in 192 males use proper English, commonly posting words like “gonna,” “wanna,” “lamo,” and “kinda.” The study found that women tend to elongate their words while men are more prone to shortening their words on Twitter.

Other interesting findings included in the study are;

  • The top five grammatical errors are “im,” “cant,” “wont,” “don’t,” and “id.”
  • Most common acronyms: WTF, LOL, YOLO,LMAO, OMG
  • Words most misspelled: Separate, embarrass, achieve, surprise and definitely.

But individuals are not only guilty of misspelling. Brands are as well. And the brands that use these “illiterate” words in their tweets may surprise you.  Specifically, the acronym YOLO was used by AAA, Monster Energy, Microsoft Office 365, Sharpie, Little Wayne, CNN and Paddy Power BookMaker.

So what does this mean for brands who use social networking to reach out to customers in cyber space? It means that brands should be extremely careful when composing a tweet or creating a post as misspellings or inappropriate language can tarnish brand image. Companies like CNN, for example, that want to present themselves as thought leaders in their respective space should not be caught misspelling words or using slang such as LMAO. 

Check out the full infographic here.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

Comments powered by Disqus

Related News