Spelling and grammar do matter, according to consumers

If you don’t think the public at large cares about your lack of editorial diligence, you’re wrong.

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I was in a meeting to discuss marketing plans for a new organization. The founder of the company had already developed some collateral he was showing off. I immediately noticed a problem with the punctuation. When I pointed out the error, I was dismissed. Nobody cares, I was told.

It’s disconcerting for a grammar geek to be confronted with a cavalier attitude toward language. Watching the shift to real-time digital communication hasn’t made me any happier. New media properties seem wholly unconcerned with proofreading, popular social media personalities don’t know the difference between your and you’re, and even long-standing mainstream publishers, in their haste to be speedy, seem to be fine with an increased incidence of typos, misused words, and grammar/spelling/punctuation gaffes. And don’t get me started on the errors posted by community managers and other stewards of brands online.

So it is with a certain amount of sanctimonious glee that I am able to point out that customers don’t like spelling and grammar mistakes. According to one survey, poor spelling/grammar is the transgression most likely to damage consumer opinion of a brand in social media.

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