Spelling: It’s a Matter of Pubic Safety
I’m an occasional ranter. I’ll cop to that. And one of my most common rants is about lack of attention to detail. Little things. Like spelling. Punctuation. Grammar. You know the stuff.
I am old. That is undeniable. But back in the day, we had teachers who drilled the importance of attention to detail – little things like correct spelling, punctuation and grammar – into us until we had no choice but to learn the stuff. And as a result of their due diligence, I’m one helluva speller. Dictionary.com is just about my favorite (and most frequently visited) website on the planet. Words With Friends is my favorite iPhone app and proofreading is a task about which I am freakishly obsessed. Oh yeah, my staff hates me. But I’m obsessive about the quality of work that we do and the impression that creates.
Can you imagine the horror at realizing your firm was responsible for delivering this creative product? I’m a hard ass (is that one word, or two?) I’m the first to admit it. But I can’t imagine this happening. Ever.
I have many friends who are bloggers and many others who are business professionals and charged with the task of communicating, in writing, on a daily basis. And many of them routinely misuse words like “their” and “there” and “your” and “you’re” and apparently also believe that any time a word ends in an “s” that an apostrophe belongs in there. They may be nice people, but in my book, that’s just dumb — or maybe it’s ignorant. Or lazy. Whatever you want to call it, there’s no excuse for it. Not when it comes to delivering for people who pay you good money to get it right. Whether it’s your client or your boss.
I know this is a hard line and, don’t get me wrong, I am so not perfect. I make mistakes on a regular basis. We all do. But I strive, on a daily basis, to never forget that details matter. Every. Single. Time. And proper spelling and grammar are – and should be – at the top of the list of details that everyone in the business of generating content — of any nature — cares about.
I hope these folks who produced the billboard learned a lesson. It has to totally and completely suck to be them right now.