Spelling and grammar - is it important?

"No one cares how things are spelt and where grammar is positioned, other than people like you".

This was once a part of a conversation that was had when I was editing a publication and something I have continued to stew over for quite some time.

In fact, I have vetted this exact sentence over the years with a number of people in various types of professions and positions to really understand how people feel when reading any form of written communication.

Turns out people do really care.

While there may be a small percentage of people who don't care, the overwhelming response is - it is important. In fact grammar can completely change the intent of a sentence and the importance of proper spelling ensures an appropriate connection with your audience.

People will pick up spelling errors, over and underuse of punctuation and language that just does not fit the brand.

While we can't be perfect all of the time (hell this article will more than likely have errors), it's important to be open to mark-up, rephrasing and changes.

At the end of the day, we are only human. You can use spell check, apps and the like - but don't forget to keep pushing yourself to understand the intricacies of the English language and keep improving on your own skills.

Top tips:

  • Use the Macquarie Dictionary for Australian spelling. Please remember that the Oxford dictionary is British spelling and there are noticeable differences; for example program (Macquarie) v programme (Oxford).

  • Refer to your organisation's communication guide; if your organisation does not have a communication guide, this is something Duck Soup Communications can help with.

  • Don't always believe what you read from spell check, double check if something doesn't appear right.

  • If you are using spell check, set your language to Australian English to prevent those z's turning up in organisation, prioritise etc.

If you require any copy assistance, whether it be writing, proofing or editing - Duck Soup Communications can help you. Contact me today to find out how.

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