Spelling and grammar count, folks

Work with us

By Linda Forrest

This is the second installment in an unintentional series: Blog posts about holidays for which Hallmark doesn’t make a card. Yet. (Grammar Girl made an e-card, however.)

Thursday last week was National Grammar Day in the U.S., a nascent holiday devoted to furthering proper usage of the English language. Because let’s face it, most of us, intentionally or not, make a dog’s breakfast of the English language in casual usage certainly and, more troubling still, in our professional capacities as well. I fear that microblogging and texting are making the problem worse, not better. Any platform that encourages one to drop vowels altogether is fundamentally adverse to proper usage of English.

As we’ve written about previously, we here at inmedia are unabashed word nerds and philologists who love a good pun and get downright angry at the routine butchering of our parent tongue. To give you some idea of how pervasive the love of language is at inmedia, several years ago at Christmas, grammar themed novelty t-shirts were exchanged, completely coincidentally.

Earlier this week, there were egregious errors in major media that caused my blood to boil. National superhero Sidney Crosby had his name spelled incorrectly on the web site of a major media outlet, this after he won Canada the gold medal in what’s sure to go down as a national sports highlight for all time. There were other misspellings I came across as well, obvious mistakes that two seconds of editing would have caught.

While the media don’t always get the facts right, it’s unforgivable that they don’t use proper spelling and grammar at all times. Everyone needs an editor. It’s a fact. There are people that are employed solely to review copy for mistakes at most media outlets; USE THEM.

For non-journalist types, a best-practices approach to writing would dictate that you write to the best of your ability, make use of available tools like spell-check, and then run your content past another human as another set of eyes can often catch thinkos or typos that spell-check cannot.

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