Tuesday, February 3, 2009

There are no rules of grammar anymore

I know when to use semicolons and hyphens. I know what a gerent is and that it’s grammatically incorrect to say, “I wish I was…” I know that in almost all cases you put the punctuation inside quotation marks and when there are exceptions to the rule. I know the word “irregarless” does not exist. As a writer, I know my craft. At least I know most of the rules.

I’m well-read enough to know that you don’t need to follow the rules of grammar if you’re going for style. Same thing goes for advertising. “got milk?” isn’t correct grammar or capitalization, but it’s so apparent it doesn’t need to be.

But it seems wrong to me that a client would spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a piece of communication and decide to change a correctly-phrased sentence simply because “it just doesn’t look right.” I can understand wanting to speak colloquially. But if it’s an official document, or a piece of branding communication, I think it needs to be deliberate.

Sorry to let off a little steam. I just finished reading a 38-page client-generated draft where dashes were liberally used in place of commas and words like “members” and “score” were capitalized.

1 comment:

Restless Mom said...

you might enjoy one of the blogs i just happened upon:


regardless, yes. bad grammar bugs.