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Graham Awards


A spell of bad luck for estate agents - anyone for a volted ceiling?

A new property search engine has spilt (or should that be spilled?) the beans on estate agents (or perhaps estate agent’s) by creating a ‘Hall of Shame’ of spelling errors and related English-language problems contained in property details.

Home-properties.co.uk is a new search engine which, in the words of developer Martin Broadhurst, “uses text-mining algorithms to extract features and styles from property descriptions. These styles and features are presented as semantic search filters, giving users one-click access to the kind of houses they're seeking.”

He has applied the technology to agents’ property details from over 250,000 homes currently on the market, and has compiled a fascinating top 12 list of errors:

1. seperate ... this spelling (which should be ‘separate’) appears 2,303 times;

2. accomodation ... it should be accommodation (2,246)

3. formally ... when it should be ‘formerly‘ (815)

4. principle ... it should be ‘principal‘ when describing, for example, a bedroom (804)  

5. duel ... when it should be ‘dual’ as in ‘dual aspect’ (760)

6. dorma ... it’s Dormer, of course (526)

7. sort after ... surely everyone knows it’s ‘sought-after’ (299)

8. stainless steal ... not a theft, but it should be ‘steel‘ (254)

9. menage ... this equestrian feature should be ‘manege’ (244)

10. independant ... should be ‘independent‘ of course (221)

11. extention ... which should be ‘extension‘ (90)

12  volted ... this should really be ‘vaulted’ (11)

  • Richard Copus

    The best one is "deceptively spacious". Grammatically that means smaller than it looks!

  • Terence Dicks

    Funny but true.

  • Bristol Tim

    Makes me cry when I read what some of our youngsters write - luckily there are enough old hands that pick most up. I would have made the same mistakes I am sure when I started many moons ago

  • icon

    Tim Love your picture

  • Nicholas Crayson

    I'm not sure which is worse - spelling mistakes or dull language? It's a tough call. Just last month I wrote an article on the bad language of estate agents - http://bit.ly/1RDu7VD. There's a total lack of imagination. Bland descriptions dull the senses and remove the joy. The industry needs to smarten up its act on both counts.


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