It’s 10 AM and I have a colleague responding to one of my emails. It starts out with “Hi Alison…” Before I’ve read any further, I’m annoyed, my name is spelled Allison, not Alison.

Although it is a simple mistake, it’s one that I find annoying because this is not our first correspondence, my name is spelled correctly in my both my signature line and in my email address, and this isn’t their first infraction.

Lazy? Posturing? Careless? Regardless, misspelling a first name is an avoidable error. Perhaps it could be a costly mistake depending on the recipient.

I found this annoyance to be an excellent reminder for myself. Whether I am emailing someone I’ve never met/emailed before or someone I’ve emailed multiple times, it’s good to pause and double-check. Yes, typos happen – I’ve been guilty – but it’s definitely worth taking a moment to make sure the opening of the email is correct.

A few quick ways to pursue the correct spelling of a name

  • Their email address
  • Their signature line
  • Their website
  • Their LinkedIn profile
  • Google

Made this mistake?

If you’ve sent an email and realize the mistake after-the-fact, the easiest way to make a correction would be to send a follow-up email acknowledging the mistake and apologizing. And, to make sure you don’t make the same mistake again.