The art of good grammar

Julia Proverbs | Account Manager Marketing, Social Media

Woman texting on mobile phone

Socrates feared that writing would create forgetfulness.

In the 1500s, Swiss scientist Conrad Gessner feared that the printing press would unleash an overload of information that would be harmful to the mind.

With the advent of television, video killed the radio star.

And when mobile phones and text messaging were unleashed on the world, it was widely predicted that mankind was destined for a future in which we would all communicate in acronyms and abbreviations. TBH IDK (To Be Honest I Don’t Know) if that’s the case. 

December will mark 25 years since the first text message was sent.

As mobile phones have progressed from the humble Nokia 3310 into smartphones with increasingly sophisticated capabilities, the importance of good grammar, spelling and punctuation is more important than ever.

While we might be consuming information in bite-sized chunks, even the shortest of sentences can leave a bitter taste in your mouth when it is poorly constructed and littered with misspellings.

With the advent of social media, humankind is engaging with the written word on a scale never seen before.

If you are to use social media as a marketing tool, the content is every bit as important – if not more so – than the analytics that go into reaching your target audience.

Good grammar is associated with attention to detail, critical thinking and intellectual aptitude.

Storytelling is an art and, no matter how brief, each Facebook or Instagram post is an opportunity to tell your story. How well you tell it will determine how well your product or service is received.

While acronyms and abbreviated text speak provides useful code for teenagers KPC (Keeping Parents Clueless), IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) it has been outsmarted by the smartphone.

With predictive text, it’s quicker and easier to choose a correctly spelt word, or whole sentence, than to construct an acronym requiring the dexterity of an octopus.

Except of course when it goes rogue and serves up the wrong word. A friend of mine springs to mind, who was forever “ducked” off with her phone for censoring the content of her texts.

Which is where technology has its limitations. Any technology is only as good as its user, and even Grammarly can’t save you from yourself if you don’t know the basics.

Never underestimate the power of a well-constructed sentence. Whether it’s a high-level business proposal or a short, snappy Facebook post, if it’s riddled with errors it won’t have a professional edge, and will send the wrong message to your customers.

If you don’t appear to give a “duck” why should your audience?