TECHNOLOGY has left many people unable to spell words like "definitely" and "separate", a survey has found.
It has produced an "auto-correct generation" that relies on computer spell checks.
The poll, which questioned more than 2,000 adults, found that around a third could not spell "definitely" while a similar proportion failed to pick the right spelling of "separate".
And around two thirds (65pc) picked a wrong spelling for "necessary" from a list that did not include the right spelling.
But while many adults struggle to spell these common words, the poll also found that three quarters of those questioned (76pc) think they are good at spelling, with 96pc saying that spelling is important.
And many people are relying on spell checks - 18pc said they use this all the time, while a further 21pc said they rely on it most of the time.
Fewer than one in 10 (9pc) said they never use a spell check.
The survey was commissioned to mark Mencap's Spellathon Championships, which take place this week.
Mencap chief executive Mark Goldring said: "With over two thirds of Britons now having to rely on spell check, we are heading towards an auto-correct generation.
"This survey has highlighted that many Britons have a false impression about their spelling ability.
"Today's tough economic climate means that poor spelling on a CV is fatal, as it says that an individual cannot produce work to a given standard, no matter how highly qualified they might be. Language used by a company or person is a reflection of their attitude, capabilities and skill."
:: The ICM survey questioned 2,005 adults online between April 25-26.