There might be companies out there with sensational products and excellent marketing strategies, they might even promise the gift of youth, but if they are unable to communicate that correctly to their consumers, why should we believe them?
As in the book Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss, I take a zero-tolerance approach to punctuation in any kind of communication, especially strategic marketing communication. That includes emails, blogs, post-it-notes, text messages, even notes to my husband on the fridge!
My golden rule is that if I receive an email with a typo or grammatical error in the subject heading, I do not, under any circumstances, trust or even read what’s inside. And I certainly don’t respect any form of advertising or promotion if the creators have not given it proper thought or gone to the trouble of proofreading it. Some might call that snobbery, I call it saving the English language from death and destruction.
I do not reject the idea that language can evolve – of course it should and it does, we create the need for new words and syntax everyday, but when it evolves for the worse, and when we lose vital meaning in our words and communication, this is a matter we have to address.
Take the poor apostrophe for example. There are specific rules involved with this commonly abused punctuation mark. Generally the rule is that if you’re signifying possession, an apostrophe should be used except when the possession is already inherent within the word, such as yours or its. The apostrophe in it’s is there to signify the abbreviation of it is.
Apostrophes are commonly misused in plural nouns, for example, many grocery stores will have a sign somewhere in their store saying avocado’s or banana’s. Aaaaaaaargh… this drives me insane to the point where I want to get out a sharpie and deface their signage!
In my opinion, the apostrophe is an endangered species. If, like me, you care about the possibility of apostrophe extinction from advertising or any type of communication, check out the Apostrophe Protection Society, of which I am an avid member! http://www.apostrophe.fsnet.co.uk/