in other words

Could bad grammar be stopping you from meeting your next customer, or worse still… your soul mate?

Carte Blanche - Monday, December 01, 2014

A good friend of mine, single at the time, once told me he was really struggling to meet women.

"That's crazy", I said. "You're young.. attractive.. successful. They would be lining up to go out with you".

"No, no. That's not it", he said. "I don't have an issue meeting them. It's the aftermath of texting that puts me off".

Bemused, I asked him to elaborate.

"It really bothers me when they don't use the right grammar and spelling in a text".
"But, that's nuts", I laughed. "It's a text, not a love letter. It's supposed to be short and full of abbreviations! And anyway, what's grammar got to do with you going on a date with someone you like?!"

"Yes, but it's still a mark on their level of intellect as to whether they're using 'there', 'their' or 'they're'. I can't help it. It's a massive turn off."

I've never quite been able to get this conversation out of my head. I started to wonder about all the seemingly smart, beautiful women out there who would have no idea they were rejected on the basis of a clumsy 'I think your so hot'.

Which begs the question, what incredible opportunities have you unknowingly missed out on as a result of bad grammar? The dream job? The perfect client? Imagine the hordes of grammarphobes choosing someone else's product further to dismissing your semi-colon with an identity crisis.

Good grammar could quite literally be life-changing - for an individual OR a business.

I was a recruiter way back when, and I will shamefully admit that a single typo in a resume would be enough to have a finger twitching towards the 'reject' button. It works both ways, of course: It wasn't uncommon for clients' job descriptions to be littered with careless apostrophes and slapdash to and toos (nothing short of catastrophically unprofessional for the grammar grinch).

The point, at the end of the day is this: Good grammar equals credibility. In advertorials, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on your website - words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, you will be judged if you can't tell the difference between your itses.

Is it harsh? Possibly. True? Absolutely. With an impending deadline, it can be tricky to find another pair of beady eyes to proofread when you Just. Need. To. Get. The. Thing. Out. But one thing's for sure: It will be impossible for you to claw your way back from the irrevocable damage to your professional integrity and brand, if you don't.

And who knows - That grammar grinch you were texting may just agree to a follow-up date as well.(Or at the very least, after reading this you've realised you should review the autocorrect function on your phone.)