Are marketers allowed to break grammar rules?

This grammar stickler says it’s OK to bend the rules if it makes sense. Weigh in.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

I won second prize in a really difficult grammar contest against a room full of PR agency owners and CEOs. I talk about that as frequently as possible.

I almost didn’t get married because in our very first argument in the first month we were dating, I interrupted Patrick to tell him “also too” is redundant. He became so infuriated that he almost walked out the door never to be seen again.

So when the client I’m working with suggested a tagline that uses the word “less” when it should be “fewer,” I got ready to put up a fight. Then they asked me whether it’s really important to be grammatically proper. Look at Apple and “Think Different.” Look at all the signs in the grocery store express lines that state, “15 items or less.”

I stopped to think about it and thought I’m going to be twitchy for months if we use this. How can I stand by it?

So I talked to colleagues and friends I respect, and I turned to Facebook. (If it’s spoken on Facebook, it must be truth.) I received a mixed bag of feedback, but some of the sticklers—the ones just like me—responded, “Break the rules if it makes sense.”

And she flip-flops

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.