Homophones, they are everywhere.
Words that look the same and/or sound the same can easily be confused. For example, if you invite people over and tell them to bring their palates/palettes, they won’t know whether they should expect to be drinking wine or painting!
And while this can lead to some funny misunderstandings amongst friends, in the business world it can cause problems.
First off, the use of incorrect words or misspellings looks sloppy and can decrease an individual’s confidence in your company. If a business cannot correctly proof their materials, should you really be trusting them with your credit card information?
Homophones—particularly when used incorrectly—can also confuse your audience and make it unclear as to what you are talking about. Do you have patients or do you have patience? The question might sound the same, but the meaning is completely different depending on how it is written.
When it comes to your important documents—such as marketing materials, email blasts, and newsletters, website copy, or company reports—absolutely never rely on spellcheck alone. Remember, it’s not an issue with spelling, it’s an issue with meaning.
Check out the work below by artist Bruce Worden. It serves as a great visual example of these same-sounding words can have entirely different meanings.