Lately, it seems the topics of proofreading, use of grammar, and spelling in general, are front and center on peoples’ minds. Not only in our company but in conversations with clients, business associates, and friends both locally and around the country. As the familiar pop question asks, “what’s up with that”? makes me wonder why this is slipping so much. Even the debate of whether the question mark in the last sentence in this paragraph should be inside or outside the quotation marks – there are a variety of standards so that becomes a personal choice of which standard you choose.
The larger question is “why don’t we seem to care anymore collectively”? I know within our company I am the proofing nag and I don’t mind the rude comments, only that work leaves our building with some semblance of pride that if we ask our clients to pay attention to detail and stress that the little things are important, then so should the work we send out, whether an email, a letter, a proposal, or final product. I’m hearing from parents their frustration that their offspring feel spell check will take care of everything so that’s one less thing to worry about. I was heartened by that fact that most schools still have spelling tests for the young ones – it remains a key factor in communication.
We’ve joked recently about the overuse of hyphenation, the incorrect use of quotation marks, and the Emphasis of Capitalizing Every Word – Yikes! Kudos to the two young men who have been traveling around the country trying to fix all the misplaced apostrophes and other grammatical no-nos – not sure if they are still out there but what a goal and lifelong task. Tweeting and texting have been a great way of being in touch so much more today but please learn to spell and proof first – then you earn the right to butcher our beautiful language.