Perhaps it is the advent of email, texting, blogs, and social networking, but the use of proper English has been getting butchered. I’ve met business owners, considered to be brilliant, who cannot tell the difference between there, their and they’re. Unfortunately, mistakes show up in marketing materials with high visibility, and brownie points are taken off for credibility. I do not claim to be anal in this regard, but for heaven’s sake, at least I use spell check!
Your professional image includes the proper use of the English language. (or any language for that point) Take the time to proof read your marketing materials, or hire someone to do it for you.
On the other hand, complicated language, especially on websites, will turn people off as well. Unfortunately, most people have the attention span of a gnat anymore. Below are a few tips on the use of language:
- Use spell check. Then double check. English has so many variations it can fool a computer.
- Break up sentences. Have you ever tried to read a paragraph that has 20 sentences in it? On a website or email, for example, limit your paragraph to 3-4 sentences.
- Big words sound intelligent unless no one can understand them. If you want to get your point across to many people, write in a way that is understandable to the lower end of your target audience. Have you ever noticed that Harvard PhD’s are not necessarily rich?
- Avoid ranting. I especially love when someone feels the need to use all CAPITAL LETTERS. Even though they are only symbols, it sounds like screaming! You take your chances when you bring up politics, religions, sex or sports.
- Watch your use of expletives. Your mother may be watching.
It’s sad that the school system has loosened up on spelling and grammar. In fact, it started to go down hill when I was in high school and that was many moons ago. We get our language from lazy TV writers now. Just be aware of it.
Please tweet this post and maybe it will make a difference.
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