I had to tell a fellow student that it was standard procedure for a professor to mark down points for misspelled words and terms. She was astonished at the concept.
I can sort of imagine that by university (which I associate with professors), the professors would be "beyond" marking and taking points off for misspellings/typos, in the sense that they're looking at the bigger picture of concepts, citations, etc.. But I think that is predicated on the fact that by university, the students should be beyond making
such simple errors on an assignment they turn in. So if a professor took the time to mark the single typo in my ten-page essay, I would find that kind of odd, though honestly I would be more irritated at myself for leaving it in. However, if a paper was riddled with typos and mistakes, or had repeated misuse of an important term, that seems like cause for losing points.
I had a beginning-level archaeologist class, for example, where in my first paper I kept using the term "pot shards" when in fact, archaeologists say and spell it "pot sherds." Since it means "broken pieces of pottery," I was likening it to broken shards of glass, and the two words are so similar in sound and spelling--I thought it was a mix of me hearing it incorrectly, and maybe a British spelling, like color vs. colour, which I wasn't obligated to use. Yup, the professor marked every incorrect instance (and was right to do so), though I don't remember him taking off points for it. I got my paper back and thought, "Oh, this is a real thing after all."
Another time, as a graduate student when I really should have known better, I turned in a long term paper in which I had done the in-text citations wrong. If there are multiple authors on a paper--for example, Bob Smith, Sue Jones, and Amy Miller, in that order--in-text you often shorten the citation to "Smith et al." with the "et al." being an abbreviation for "et alii" which in Latin means "and others" (yes, I had to look that up just now). The point is, "et" is a complete word, but "al" is an abbreviation and needs a period after it. I had done all the citations as "et. al" getting it backwards. ::facepalm:: And the truth is, I wasn't 100% certain as I was writing it, I was just too lazy to double-check. And this professor dutifully marked every single instance
. Again, I don't think he actually took off points, but it was rather humbling to see the red marks all over my entire paper.