Got a flyer/magazine/catalog today. One of those vendor rags that’s made to look like a magazine tailored to something I love (flying). I don’t know how I got on the maillst, and because it’s a topic I care about, I’m only partially miffed that it graces my mailbox about once a month.Today’s edition came with one of those personalized covers, where right under the banner and picture it says:”ALAN, if your (sic) flying your plane from (my town) to Oshkosh (the holy grail of aviation shows)…“Opening with a big fat grammar mistake does not entice me to order from these folks. Now, we all make mistakes. Many of you have pointed out I have my own grammar/spelling mistakes from time to time in this blog (and, like this goof, they are often homonymic mistakes, where they pass spell check, but are just lazi-/hasti-ness). Mistakes happen. But as the importance of the message goes up (did I just imply my blog might not be that important? I didn’t think so…), the need for accuracy does as well.I frequently hear folks use bad grammar in speeches, and it’s easy to observe them pause when they catch themselves. No need to draw too much attention to the gaff, just correct it and move on. If it’s printed, published material or given to a live audience (e.g., cannot be changed as a blog can), a proofreader is a must for image-making copy. Your CEO’s PowerPoint address and any customer-facing material should always have an extra set of eyes (preferably an English- and image- aware set).As a side note, I was reading a book yesterday (Why Business People Speak Like Idiots — good read, more later) and ran across a sentence I was sure was bad grammar. It took reading it five times and finally a mental diagram to convince myself they were write (they were). If you haven’t read it, Eats Shoots and Leaves is a good book to raise your grammar awareness.
Use correct grammar. And profread what your right.