With ever-increasing forms of digital communication, care of the written word has somewhat fallen by the wayside. Twitter and texting limit our character count, forcing us to resort to hashtags and emoticons. Emails are received and responded to on such a high-volume that responses are reduced to a secret code of shorthand and absurd abbreviations.
In spite of our best efforts to dumb down the English language, we’re using written text more than ever thanks to email, texting, social media and blogging.
As journalism even becomes more casual and off-the-cuff, one question rears its ugly head to bring back dreadful memories of fifth-grade English teachers harping on the proper use of the ne’er-ubiquitous semi-colon: Does grammar still matter?
The answer, particularly in business dealings, is a resounding yes. Here are a few points that speak to the importance of grammar, and why you should pay attention to it, especially when communicating with clients and business associates.
Grammatical errors can go a long way to indicate carelessness or a general ignorance on a particular subject. If you can’t be bothered to follow a few simple rules that can be easily checked up on thanks to the mother of all the internet: Google, your words will be just as easily disregarded by the reader.
Speaking to the same point, poor grammar can knock you down in the eyes of clients as well as corporate higher-ups. You want to be the agent that goes the extra mile to ensure great communication measures, and sloppy, error-laden copy is not the way to exude that quality.
Having to decipher a written message due to bad grammar can create resentment and a lack of respect. Co-workers will resent having to go through and correct errors while clients will resent a sloppy showing of work habits and lack of attention to detail.
Errors can distract readers from understanding the point of the written message. A example of this is the phrase “Let’s eat, Grandpa!” versus “Let’s eat Grandpa!” With the elimination of something a simple as a comma, the message completely changes… and makes us really worried for Grandpa.
Any message that you share over the internet has the potential to be around forever, meaning that it can haunt you forever. For posterity’s sake, make sure your grammar is top notch.
The way that technology is innovating, grammar may end up being an obsolete art-form any day now. Until this shift is confirmed by the grammar gods, best practice is to brush up on some rules and do your best.
Tribus is a company full of grammar-experts and we’d love to bestow our hard-earned knowledge on your blog posts and marketing copy. Please feel free to contact us about our services.