Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Grammar… It’s a big deal

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  • #974991
    Stuart B
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    It depresses me today how bad many people are at spelling and grammar. Sometimes I feel like every year I deal with more and more people that can barely string a sentence together on paper, let alone write out a coherent email with instructions that I can follow without making a phone call to clarify things.

    Now I know nobody’s perfect, and you can’t expect anybody to be a walking dictionary at all. I definitely have certain words which I always have to double check to make sure I’ve used the right word, in particular:
    – whether / weather
    – stationary / stationery

    But it’s the more basic misuses of words which drive me freaking crazy!

    – to, two, too
    – where, were, we’re
    – there, their, they’re
    – now, know
    – chose, choose
    – lose, loose

    One little itsy bitsy letter, very different meanings.

    So anyway… Sometimes I have to hunt down a particular business because I need some work done (as I’m sure you all do), for example, a commercial printer…
    So you go and fire off some emails and see who you like the sound of.

    Pretty much when someone responds to me and they say something like:
    “No problem, were would you like the samples sent to”
    “Yes we can certainly handle that for you two

    Oh my god is that a joke!? Pretty much if I get a response that has something like that in it, then I don’t do business with them. Maybe that’s a bit unfair, but it’s just me. It drives me crazy and it undermines the professionalism of a business big time.

    Every computer has has a spellcheck button in it for the last god knows how many years. I don’t get why people don’t use it before they send THEIR message.

    #1071716
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
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    ur going to hate this. but in the world of direct marketing (on/offline), bad grammar and spelling mistakes have pulled more sales than the pristine and clinical image based marketing we see with corporations.

    I did 2 degrees and literally had to “un”educate myself and learn to speak the language and style of the layman. i think i over did it because i now suck at writing.

    oh well.

    #1071717
    Stuart B
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    I don’t really have a problem with it in marketing. iPod, lite, and other examples used in marketing don’t bother me really. It just gets under my skin when people misuse common words in every day sentences.

    The times when it gets to me the most, like in the example of emailing businesses above, is when people just make the worst and most basic mistakes, because they’re too lazy to fix it.

    #1071718
    GailH
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    I agree with you LemonChip.

    We recently hired an external company to do some work for us. There were spelling and grammar mistakes in the quote they sent through, which made me wary. Unfortunately, I was right, and we’re now having to deal with people who think near enough is good enough (which is NOT appropriate for the job we hired them to do).

    I guess there are times when it’s good to be a pedant! :)

    #1071719
    bluewoodstudio
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    I am also a grammar nazi, and cringe even at incorrect FB status updates!

    In the permanent world of printed design work, it is so, so critical to get it right to hang onto your credibility.

    This is one of my favourite blog posts about incorrect grammar….

    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

    #1071720
    bridiej
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    I know what you mean, I hate seeing poor spelling and grammar too.

    BUT bear in mind that for some people English isn’t their first language, and others are dyslexic.

    Yes, computers do come with spell check but not everyone knows how to use computers.

    What annoys me more is when newspapers, magazines and big name brands make spelling and grammar mistakes… sets a poor example IMHO.

    #1071721
    nominal
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    Please remember that Australia has the 2nd largest number of residents that were (where/we’re) not born in this country. (which is the first one?)

    My reading, writing and understanding is perfect in another language (guess which one) but I will never be able to communicate properly in English.

    When I have something important to say (marketing), I use a copywriter (and I’ve even found errors in their stuff on one occasion). But I can’t walk around with a copywriter on my keyring :-)

    I can only hope that my customers have a little bit more patience…

    Come to think of it – they don’t! we received a support call around 9:30AM and failed to response by 11:00 – I than received a comment saying something – your response it too slow and you lost a customer. What can you do ?

    #1071722
    The Infotainer
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    I am not an educated man, sorry

    It has nothing to do with my services

    I have consulted with IBM, DELL, and many other companies on marketing at trade shows and I spell really really bad, My knowledge comes from experience in the field

    stop being so shallow and don’t judge a book by it’s packaging- judge it on the content of the service, the quality of the product you get in your hands-

    so they make spelling mistakes, but you don’t want to use their print services

    that’s your loss,

    #1071723
    The Copy Chick
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    LemonChip, post: 89600 wrote:
    Every computer has has a spellcheck button in it for the last god knows how many years. I don’t get why people don’t use it before they send THEIR message.

    The problem with spell check is it won’t pick up the incorrect use of a technically correct word such as ‘THERE’ instead of ‘THEIR’ or ‘FORM’ instead of ‘FROM’.

    I too struggle when receiving poorly written emails which are unclear in their intent (especially from native English speakers), but we are all human and I’ve been known to make the odd typo or grammatical mistake myself. Often I try to leave copy for at least a day to pick up any errors with “fresh eyes”, but with emails and social media status updates, that’s just not realistic.

    Funnily enough, I wrote a blog about improving written communication just this week.

    hymstrategies, post: 89603 wrote:
    ur going to hate this. but in the world of direct marketing (on/offline), bad grammar and spelling mistakes have pulled more sales than the pristine and clinical image based marketing we see with corporations.

    I did 2 degrees and literally had to “un”educate myself and learn to speak the language and style of the layman. i think i over did it because i now suck at writing.

    Interesting point – although I think there’s a difference between “un”educating oneself to speak in the style of the layman, and researching the market to find the right voice without sacrificing reasonable spelling, punctuation or grammar (unless you very specifically intend to do so).

    bridiej, post: 89614 wrote:
    What annoys me more is when newspapers, magazines and big name brands make spelling and grammar mistakes… sets a poor example IMHO.

    Totally agree Bridie. I can live with a tradie, or someone running a small retail outlet not being spot on with their spelling/grammar/etc. but those industries responsible for putting things in print really do need to get it right (myself included). I’ve also been appalled at government departments deliberately misspelling words like schools (skoolz) to appear “hip & trendy”, when I think these agencies have a responsibility to set a good example, rather then be “cool”.

    But for day to day communications in a world where we are all time poor, I think a little leniency needs to be given – particularly to those who don’t write professionally for a living.

    And even those of us who do… we’re human too ;)

    #1071724
    Jake@EmroyPrint
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    Not to be pedantic …

    – You’re not supposed to capitalise letters after three full stops. (on the word “sometimes”) as it’s a continuation of a sentence.

    – The word “god” is supposed to be capitalised.

    – You used the word “has” twice in the last sentence.

    Obviously won’t be doing business with YOU!

    On a more serious note, I have a very close friend who is dyslexic and the emails I get from him sometimes have the spelling issues you mentioned. This is not so because he is lazy or because he wasn’t educated properly it’s because he has a disability.

    I sincerely hope your business practices don’t intentionally exclude dealing with people who have disabilities.

    PS: On a quick glance on your website, I found another 3-4 spelling / grammar mistakes. I have no doubt I have bad spelling myself, but thought I might point this out to you =)

    #1071725
    Peapod
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    As a self-proclaimed grammar and spelling nazi, I agree. I think the fact that people don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re” is one of my pet peeves!

    Meanwhile, check out this link for entertainment! These people are my heroes! LOL. http://www.happyplace.com/3645/the-best-obnoxious-responses-to-misspellings-on-facebook

    #1071726
    The Copy Chick
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    Peapod, post: 89627 wrote:
    Meanwhile, check out this link for entertainment! These people are my heroes! LOL. http://www.happyplace.com/3645/the-best-obnoxious-responses-to-misspellings-on-facebook

    LOL :D Love it!

    #1071727
    GailH
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    Peapod, post: 89627 wrote:
    Meanwhile, check out this link for entertainment! These people are my heroes! LOL. http://www.happyplace.com/3645/the-best-obnoxious-responses-to-misspellings-on-facebook

    This is great! :)

    #1071728
    MyGreatIdea
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    its coz u have 2 much txt on fones n no1 can spell n e more

    ty have a gr8 day lol

    Wendy :)

    #1071729
    BrettM33
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    I’m glad someone else posted this…… I’ve just learned to live with it now lol

    But as Peapod mentioned, you forgot the most common and annoying one; the use of “your”, “you’re”.

    I was a “your” person many moons ago until someone else on a forum pointed out what I was doing and since then I have made an effort to always use the correct word.

    I agree though that if I’m doing business with someone and I get an email back like you pointed out it does turn me off a bit.

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