Good thread yet again Terry !
As an unreformed and unapologetic pedant I think spelling, grammar, and correct usage of words is important ,(should that be are important?), as the wrong meaning is so easy to pick up.
How often have we seen, "I could care less", when I think the writer means "I couldn't care less " ?
How often do people use totally the wrong word, often within an idiomatic saying, and therefore show their ignorance of etymology, but also change the meaning of the phrase ?
I think it is especially important whilst writing to people you are trying to influence, perhaps you are writing to the WT or perhaps a Government Minister say, your missive will be taken far less seriously if it is full of errors.
I receive many e-mails and letters from businesses trying to sell me something, if they can't be bothered to check their copy, how can I be sure they are bothered about the quality of their product or service ?
I am also annoyed by people who obviously cannot spell, and therefore say things like "Nuke U lar power" when they mean "nuclear power", the most ironic is when I hear them speak of "pronounciation", I have heard both on the BBC for f***s sake !
The BBC used to have a Pronunciation Unit , if it still exists, it is not working.
I wish I wasn't such a pedant, I'd rather be a pendant, and I know where I would like to nestle !