Next up on the chopping block for a good old Brookes & Sowerby rant; Account Manager Sam talks the big 3 – spelling, punctuation and grammar.
At the risk of sounding like your secondary school English teacher, the correct usage of spelling, punctuation and grammar is incredibly important – especially in a business context.
A website, newspaper article or company tweet littered with errors gives an instant negative impression to the reader – and the simple fact is, it is so easily avoided.
With numerous tools at our disposal such as spellcheck, autocorrect and online dictionaries – which are available at the click of a button – senseless and sloppy errors really shouldn’t appear.
That said, while these are all helpful tools for picking up rogue spelling mistakes, grammatically incorrect sentences and misused punctuation they are by no means perfect.
In fact, over-reliance on these features can actually have a negative impact on your writing ability in the long-term.
For a start, they are often automatically set to American-English so will suggest the American versions of words such as organization, traveling, program etc. which wouldn’t be appropriate for an English company.
Similarly, they may insert the wrong word for the context or simply guess the nearest word to the one you’ve typed (an example concerns a former colleague Rhian becoming Rhino – not exactly how you want to be signing off a professional email!)
So, reading back over your writing and checking that any spellcheck or autocorrect amends actually make sense is crucial.
Even better, get a particularly eagle-eyed colleague (or two!) to proofread your written work before it is published or sent out to stop any final mistakes from slipping through the net.
Simply put, inaccuracies in spelling, punctuation and grammar are embarrassing. They look sloppy and unprofessional – and can be costly in terms of alienating potential customers or clients.
Come on people – get a simple framework in place to avoid these errors.
It’ll make all the difference when it comes to winning – or whining – customers.