I enjoy playing with words, finding dual meanings and writing copy to (hopefully) engage readers. It’s equally powerful, beautiful and destructive, our language offers incredible freedom, but also comes with rules (yes it does).
In a busy Marketing Agency like We Are Acuity, we regularly commission copy writers who are masters of our language, we also write copy in-house, either way we take on the responsibility to ensure what we write for our clients is spelt correctly and follows the rules. We all make mistakes, but we have processes in place to mitigate such errors; at least two sets of eyes and time reserved for thorough proof reading.
OK, by now you know I’m a self-appointed officer of the Grammar Police and I’m about to divide opinion, because I think the correct use of apostrophes, exemplary spelling and well-structured sentences is hugely important. In the world of advertising, it’s critical. Surveys suggest poor grammar and spelling affects sales – a 2017 Survey Monkey poll found that women are 81% less likely to buy a product advertised with errors, while 77% of men feel the same. The importance of good grammar isn’t restricted to advertising though, the same survey found that 86% of potential employers would be less likely to hire someone with ‘typos’ in their CV. I’d go further and say it’s important that all writing is properly considered, flows well and is free from typos.
Social Media has given everyone a platform for writing, and sometimes the abuse of our language is surprising, occasionally hilarious. I’m not sure I take heed of someone’s point of view when it’s written badly. I wince every time someone claims they’re “defiantly” undertaking something (I’m pretty sure they’re trying to communicate certainty rather than disobedience), or their possessive apostrophe is in the wrong place or suitable conjunctions are AWOL. Sadly, I’m always wincing, I see it every single day. Most news articles I read are littered with mistakes, tabloids and sports writers are the worst offenders, but errors pop up in the more elite publications too. Sure, many of these journalists are working under the tightest of deadlines and auto spell checks can hinder rather than help, but I was always taught to proofread and re-read everything.
Years ago, pre-DTP, such mistakes were costly because of the time involved to correct it – just ask our vastly experienced Artworkers about setting physical type blocks letter by letter. Perhaps when mistakes were so costly writers and typesetters took more care with our language? Perhaps schools aren’t taking enough care now?
Perhaps nobody cares except me?
If you like the idea of joining a team who loves grammar and doing things just right, whether you are from a creative, technical or client service/project management background, or even if you are new to the agency world, then just have a look at our careers page. We are always keen to talk to the right people!
#marketing #advertising #writing