Cutting Edge Insights
with Dr. Lee

Who put the ‘L’ in Wealth?

According to the New World Encyclopedia, “Wealth refers to some accumulation of resources, whether abundant or not.”  And, “Wealth is from the old English word “weal,” which means “well-being” or “welfare.” The term was originally an adjective to describe the possession of such qualities.”

With that in mind, it appears that “wealth” originated from “weal”, not “weath.”

Therefore, our spelling error in a previous blog post of “weath” for “wealth” cannot possibly be explained in a way that leaves us looking intelligent.  There is no viable explanation other than pure human error – and even worse, our failure to catch it for a few days.  No witty recovery here – at some point we have to acknowledge our error.

Some consolation may be found in media archives; yes, tried and true publications with a richer history and a much wider reach than ours also make mistakes.

Even the respected New York Times is not immune from typographical errors:  In May, 2014, it spelled “response” as “reponse” in the sub-heading of a story about U.S. President Barack Obama.

 Hey, if these guys can screw up, maybe we should get some slack!

In business, it is important to maintain an image of professionalism.

According to Jacqueline Whitmore on,

“Political protocol is particularly touchy in areas of correctness.  But in the world of business, it is equally important to check for grammar and spelling errors for three reasons:

  1. It limits the chances that your message will be misunderstood or misinterpreted.
  2. It reflects your credibility, intelligence, and reliability.
  3. It indicates that you care about how you do business.

What is your first impression when you view a company’s website and discover it is filled with typographical, spelling, or grammatical errors? You are likely to dismiss that site and move on to the next, which can be disastrous for the company’s long-term survival.”

I personally have to admit that I tend to be overly critical of a business’s  (did you catch that -ss’s?  Right from the Chicago Manual of Style!) spelling, punctuation, and grammar usage.  In college, I pointed out that a restaurant had spelled “delicious” as “delicous” on its monument sign.  As smart as that probably made me feel at 19 years of age, I doubt I was the first to notice.

When a company handles financial investments from many investors and manages million-dollar properties like ours does, even a small typographical error may provoke concern of the ability to perform well when the stakes are higher.

As in, “If you can’t spell correctly, how are you going to put up that building?”

Then again, being reminded of our errors, large or small, also reminds us that we are human.  As such, we are imperfect, fallible, and not only capable of error, but guaranteed to err.  Staying grounded and keeping our ego in check is yet another way we can keep from being complacent.

Another notable recent spelling error:  Our local news station, in a social media reminder to “turn our clocks back” as daylight savings time came to a close, also omitted the “-L”.  Witty responses conjured up agricultural images including roosters.

Maybe it’s something with the “-L”.

As you think about that, remember to have a second, or even third, set of eyes review and proof your printed text prior to publication.

Until next time,
Dr. Lee Newton


The Business Owner’s Blueprint For Building Wealth

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