For too long now, written communication in all of its glorious forms, has been suffering abuse at the hands of the technological evolution. With texting and Tweeting all the rage, exchanges such as “How r u”, “c u 2nite”, “LMAO.ROFL” and so forth, are becoming all too common–and all too accepted.
I have no doubt that these quick and easy forms of communication have given way to a general laziness or forgetfulness–when it comes to committing five words or more to paper with pen or to screen via keyboard, most people struggle to construct a coherent and structured sentence. OMG, I fear the worth of clean copy isn’t known anymore.
We now operate in an environment where anyone can publish anything with the click of a mouse, professional correspondence can take place in the form of SMS, and attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter.
Consequently, there are far too many examples of rogue or missing apostrophes, misspellings and incorrect grammar, that are being passed off as high-quality editorial, advertising copy, signage, blog posts and general communications.
Job applications and media kits always espouse amazing credentials and achievements, yet one of the most important skills–attention to detail–is often disproved with a quick glance at these materials. Where has the value of providing clean copy and correct materials gone? Is expecting this really asking too much of people and businesses?
Call me old-fashioned, yet I am one of those people who has great difficulty engaging companies and individuals for work, who can’t even get their own website copy right or spell my name correctly–that’s Elisabeth with an ‘S’ people, it’s at the bottom of every email.
And what’s the excuse? The tools to fix this are at everybody’s fingertips by way of autocorrect, online dictionaries and spell check, aren’t they? Yet none of these advanced mechanisms, designed to make our lives simpler, can really compete with the archaic act of proof reading–with a set of real, human eyes–which seems to have gone by the wayside because, yes, there is a little extra effort involved.
First impressions still count, at least they do in my grammatically correct book, and there is no good reason for not having clean copy on your website, the place potential customers are most likely to first interact with you, or in any other type of communication. If you’re not sure, hire a professional to help, and even if you are sure, hire a professional anyway–if your copy really is clean, then it won’t take long or cost that much to get confirmation of this. I’m sure department store giant Myer gets what I’m saying.
While I concede not everyone thinks in this way, you just don’t know when these kinds of errors have cost you a client or a job. And can you afford that?
You definitely don’t want your mistakes following you around forever–just ask this guy.