Updated: Jul 30
There is no victory to be had in correcting poor grammar. Trust me, having found myself an advocate of this lesser crime, I always feel excruciatingly patronising for doing so.
In truth, one might liken it to the impact that a slithering of dust might have on an obsessive cleaner, or the frustration that comes with eyeing the proverbial piece of broccoli embedded in the front tooth of a stranger. It eats away at you to the point of internal combustion. Your hands start to tremble, your lip begins to twitch, and you develop an unsightly tic in your eye.
Us grammar police types have an overbearing issue. We can’t even send a text without a semi-colon and full, lucid sentences. Tragic really.
Or is it?
The language that I speak of when relaying my experience of poor grammar refers both to ‘text-talk’ and, more specifically, the deployment of poor spelling in marketing. But before I continue, I must re-direct the inevitable feeling of disdain that you're undoubtedly projecting in my direction.
I’m not a cold-hearted meanie, and I’m not looking down on those who genuinely have problems with the English language. Quite to the contrary, in fact. I’m actually talking about the painfully capable; the, simply put, undeniably lazy ones.
I’ve seen numerous display signs in restaurants, cafes and bars that contain major spelling errors.
The famous finger-lickin' folks and their delicious...
The U,S spicy fast food joint that is looking for staff...
Now hirnig all shits.
The retail outet that takes crime very seriously...
Shoplifters will be prostituted.
And, of course, the friendly, people-pleasing car-park bosses...
Illegally parked cars will be fine.
I ask you, how did no one point out this belly-laugh-provoking yadder?
I put it to you that if you’re ever unsure - and with unlimited freedom to dive into the worldwide web, why haven’t you double-checked your grammar?
It's something that we all notice but doesn’t like to mention for fear of being the proverbial stuck-up, over-educated snob! It’s a little bit like (but on a far smaller scale), sending your kid to audition for the X-Factor when you're fully aware that they have the prowess of a pigeon and the talent of a slug.
Here's my question. Should you politely tell someone that their signage is incorrectly written and save them some dignity and humiliation, or do you do the British thing; whisper it to your friends, snigger, and point but say nothing?
Grammar is vital when showcasing your business.
Hey, we’re all human and we all make mistakes - I know I do regularly (I always type yoru instead of your for some warped reason!) but don’t give people the opportunity to avert their gaze from your thriving business due to a daft clerical error. Always check. Then double-check.
And if you’re still not sure, ask a copywriter to proofread your work before it goes live. They'll ensure that you're offering the right message to your potential clients, and not inviting them for a loaded bowel of chicken.
Correct grammar on your website and social media marketing can make or break and can be the difference between someone pinging an email through or hitting the X button on your website.
Professionalism begins the moment someone starts reading your copy.
Maybe we grammar police are the afflicted and need to get out more. Or, maybe we simply want to cling on to our wonderful language and protect it from the ever-increasing outbreak of LMFAOs and ROFLs.
That hurt a little.
But we’ll discuss that next time.