"Covfefe" and Other Errors: What Do They Say About You?

My entire life I have been plagued by an inability to spell well.  As a youngster, the last thing I wanted to do was take a spelling test.  It seemed more like a measurement of what I struggled with, rather than what I did well.  As I have gotten older, it has haunted me in the professional realm--leading to misunderstandings or judgment from people with a better command of language.  I have often thought to myself, "I did proof read this.  I just didn't know it was wrong." At home, it guarantees that my wife, an English major in college, will always destroy me at Scrabble and Words with Friends.  

Even in an age where typos are aplenty, thanks to the dawn of texting, it still feels like typos and spelling errors reflect poorly on the writer.  Whether it's our current US President with "covfefe," or an applicant for a job Enemy Tree is hiring for our next product launch, I am struck by how much typos and misspellings seem to reveal about the writer.  And it boils down to one of two things:

  1. The writer didn't take the time to proof-read
  2. The writer doesn't realize that it's wrong (I can relate to that a lot!)

Our modern world seems built on written communication, and the speed of getting that communication published.  It makes the impression for us; even if sometimes, it is not the impression that we would like to make. I feel like there is more forgiveness for some errors of language than for others, but I am not a linguistic expert.  

So, does it matter?  Is a command of the written word necessary for professional success? Do you discard applications with spelling errors and typos?  Why or why not?