Spelling names correctly matters. Anywhere. That includes email, Slack messages, and also other publicly-facing content assets, such as blog posts, podcast intros, and live stream promos.
But spelling names incorrectly is a thing that happens in published content. It’s not even a new thing. I was quoted in newspapers two decades ago and they didn’t spell my name correctly at times. My name – Christoph – certainly wasn’t the standard spelling. Christoph isn’t common in the United States. I get it, but common or not, people name their kids what they want to name them.
As content creators, it’s not our role to second-guess people’s names, but to spell them correctly!
But how do you do that? There certainly are a few ways to spell names correctly. One might be to be super detail-oriented and copy them down correctly. That’s exactly what I did in my days as a police reporter.
- Go to the prosecutor’s office
- Pick up the day’s complaints
- Copy and paste them into the police log, crime briefs, or articles
Back then that was the only way to do it! Today, many content creators – including myself – sit in front of monitors all day.
Use this copying and pasting strategy
Today, there should be little reason for corporate content creators to ever follow that process. Just copy and paste the name from somewhere where you know it’s spelled correctly. For example, when I start promoting the live stream for my Business Storytelling Show I use the guest’s name on the promo graphic, like this:
Even when names aren’t the most difficult to spell, I still copy them from either the person’s LinkedIn profile or an email that they’ve sent to me. Or the booking form that they used to finalize the recording and livestreaming slot.
Copying and pasting basically avoid me misspelling names.
How about formatting
Sometimes, it’s possible to add some crazy formatting to WordPress, or an image when you copy and paste from somewhere else. When that happens, I simply copy and paste and then copy again into and out of:
- A notepad document… or
- The URL bar (just don’t hit enter)
That usually does the trick. In the WordPress editor, you can also paste the name over and then highlight the word and click on “clear formatting” in the tools bar.
Spelling names conclusion
There are many ways to create good and accurate content, but some techniques just cut down the potential for error. That’s how I think of this copying-and-pasting strategy. It’s hard to screw things up when the person’s name is literally copied and pasted from their email.
It’s just another way to make sure we are as close to error-free and perfect as possible.