You’d think that when you accidentally miss a letter whilst typing really quickly that the intent of the writing doesn’t get lost. Sometimes the words are still correct, so autocorrect or spellcheck don’t pick up on them. That’s when you’re in trouble, because some of these differences can range from embarrassing to reputation-altering given their context.

As the following examples illustrate, one letter can completely change the meaning of words. So either watch your words very closely or utilize the services of someone who is trained to spot such details (wink, wink).

Assess vs. Asses

My, my, my. If your business proposal tells your prospective clients you like to asses the situation, you deserve the chuckles, eye-rolls and especially them taking their business elsewhere. We know who the real ass here is. A careless typo is embarrassing enough. One of this calibre is in a league of its own.

Public vs. Pubic

That letter “L” is your best friend when making this distinction. Again, if you tell investors that your company is in the process of going pubic, you won’t like how they react. You will curse whoever skimmed over that piece of writing because skimming is exactly what would miss something like that.

Heroine vs. Heroin

In spoken word, these two sound the same. But the written word is a different story. Writing a letter to grandma telling her you can’t wait to tell her about your favourite type of heroin may cause her initial excitement for strong female protagonists to turn into worry about your hard drug problem.

See the difference one measly letter can make? Do you also see how easy it is to overlook something like that when taking a quick glance? Even if you’re taking your time with proofreading your writing, lack of focus (or misinformation) can have disastrous consequences. So be careful when writing, and even more careful when proofreading!