The Importance of Spelling

Many of you know that we’re working on a new website to get more exposure and send new visitors to our food blog friends who use EasyRecipe or other recipe formatting vehicle.  John decided that in addition to more traffic to their newest posts, maybe we should offer a search by a few ingredients as a way to encourage our visitors to look at older posts.  I thought it was a smashing idea but I have to tell you, we’ve laughed until we cried over a few (?) of the ingredients.

vinigar / vingegar
angle hair
angle food

are just a few.

It’s clear that more than a few people don’t proofread their blogs or spell check because we’re struggling to sort out what’s what ingredient-wise.  I was shocked at how many different ingredients people use in their recipes.  We’ve found about 13,000 different ingredients.  It ranges from a wooden plank to all purpouse flower.  or all propose.  We want our readers to be excited about making our recipes and not having them go, “huh??”

While it’s funny to read them, it’s sad that searches for ingredients on Google or our search will never ever find them because who’s going to search for worster sauce or wooster sauce?  Probably not many.

This spelling error won’t result in a lack of searches but it’s just sloppy to see these:  tablelspoons, tablepoons, tablesoon, tablespoonp, tablespooons ,tablesppons, tablspoon and tablspoons.  I’m not being holier than thou because I’m sure I have had some oopses in my posts and recipes.  This is a hello??? to all of us that proofreading is really important if we want to be taken seriously.  You won’t find Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes or Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman making mistakes like these.

I once read a poem by Taylor Mali called, The Impotence of Proofreading.  It’s a bit over the top but it shows just how bad it can get.  To prove how geeky it is around here, after talking about misspellings and silly ingredients like “don’t use budweiser or my Dad will kill you,” John said, “I really need a way to disambiguate all this.”  Yes, eyeroll, go ahead, it will feel better.

I said, “Is that a word??”

“Of course it’s a word, look it up.”

“Nah, I trust you – only a geek would use a word like that.”

Now I’ll share some food photos because I feel guilty for hand slapping over spelling.  If you were wondering, I proofread this post about 30 times so if there are glaring errors, my apologies.

apple tarts

These were the simplest little tarts and not worthy of a recipe but they were delicious.  At a shop I visit often, I was given some sweet tart shells that were nearly out of date.  She said something like, “I’d rather have you use them than have to toss them away.”  It didn’t make me feel very special but I took them anyway.  Last night when looking for something for dessert I saw the shells and next to it was a can of apple filling.  I never buy apple filling and I should never say never because there it was in the pantry.

I opened the filling, added some sugar and some sultanas and a dusting of cinnamon and a grate of fresh nutmeg and heated it until the sugar melted and set it aside to cool.  I set the oven at 180 while I mixed some flour (you know, that all purpouse flower), sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter in the food processor.  Then I filled the shells and filled them with the apple mixture and then sprinkled over the topping.  It took about 30 minutes for them to brown and get crispy on top – I think.  I was also watering the pots and tossing the ball in the pool for the dog.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  I topped them with whipped cream and we both thought they were really good.

custard tarts

Another easy peasy dessert when  you’re in a hurry also uses premade shells from the supermarket.  Make some lemon or vanilla custard or even a box of pudding and top with fresh fruit.  John would need cream but I didn’t.

Do you have a favorite dessert that’s ready in just a few minutes?

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  1. says

    Hi Maureen – in actual fact, Google’s search algorithm takes many, many, *many* mis-spellings into account. From checking my organic search referral statistics, I can’t tell how many referrals I’ve had from horrifically mutilated search terms: fruticake, markerel are too fun ones… someone even found my site by searching for “can you grief a brief discription about corriander ( spice)”. Those aren’t even the worst by far… it’s really clever, but I completely agree on the importance of decent spelling. I don’t think the algorithm works the other way around – that is, someone searching for “markerel” might find your mackerel recipe, but conversely, someone searching for “mackerel” probably won’t be dining on “markerel” that evening 😉

  2. says

    Maureen, I’m a stickler for spelling and proofreading, too, but there have been occasions when a misspelled word escapes my notice and some kind soul brings it to my attention. Generally in the comment section. 😉 Thanks for your keen observations! One word that seems to be interchangeably incorrect these days is “your” (as an inadvertent substitute for “you’re.”) Drives me wild… oh well!

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