Maybe I’m getting picky. Or, maybe I’m finally starting to understand what my college English professor was talking about.
Either way I see a lot more abuse of the English language than ever before. (Before I get accused of hypocrisy, I’ll acknowledge here and now, I’m no model of English usage.)
Recently I found a website that offers some help with one of the most common mistakes people make when writing. It’s called The Apostrophe Protection Society and you can find it here: http://www.apostrophe.fsnet.co.uk.
From their home page:
The Apostrophe Protection Society was started in 2001 by John Richards, now its Chairman, with the specific aim of preserving the correct use of this currently much abused punctuation mark in all forms of text written in the English language.
They go on to offer some fast, easy and helpful rules (with examples) to understand better how to correctly use the poor apostrophe.
Why do I mention this here, in a column about marketing?
The first reason is that I appreciate the humor here. And I appreciate the nice way they go about helping us understand how to use this punctuation tool better.
Second, mistakes affect the image of your business. When you publish anything that has mistakes, your organization does not look its best. When your marketing material has errors that could have (and should have) been prevented, then some people will wonder what other details you might miss. What other things might get done wrong or not at all?
I’m not suggesting that a few punctuation errors on a brochure or website will put your company out of business. And, I understand nobody is perfect. But, you never know who will notice a small mistake. More importantly, you never know who will consider such an error a reason to look elsewhere. And, if added together with other “small” problems, it may make the problems appear larger than they really are.
What are your thoughts? Do little things like apostrophe abuse really matter? Or do people look beyond such trivial things when they develop an opinion of an organization?