For most people, just the mention of the word ‘grammar’ conjures up boring afternoons in the classroom rewriting sentences of poor construction into correct sequence with the all right verbs, adverbs and adjectives in acceptable positions, and demarcated with quirky dots and dashes to apply full meaning to the text.
However, trying to skip those irksome restrictions and structures of good grammar could land you in a great deal of hot water. Yes, those little marks that sometimes look as though a fly tottered drunkenly across your copy, are vitally important to interpretation of your writing. And isn’t that the point of what you’re writing – that the reader gets the message you’re intending and not something else entirely?
Grammatical competence is part of communicative competence (yes!)
- Proper grammar clarifies the message and helps enhance accuracy.
- It saves time in business because it helps to get the message across more quickly and with less confusion.
- It adds to your credibility and you therefore gain more respect from others because they trust your communication to be honest and knowledgeable.
- Good grammar in well-written copy can give you an edge over your competitors.
- Good grammar organises thoughts and ideas, creating a greater sense of fluency in your message, and your thoughts become more logical to the reader.
- Proofreading your work is therefore vital – because nothing creates a negative impression faster than poor grammar.
- “Your welcome.” What?!! ‘Your’ means someone possesses something: your car, your tie, your address. What you want to say is “You are welcome” – which should then read as ‘You’re welcome’.
This is so relevant because in essence, it creates real meaning in your copy – and the best way to demonstrate this is with that sneaky old comma:
- “Most of the time travellers worry about their luggage.”
Time travellers do not exist, the above should therefore read:
“Most of the time, travellers worry about their luggage.”
- Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog.
While we don’t want to judge Rachel for her choice of diet, we do need to point out that this may be construed as cannibalism or a love of dog flavour as a culinary treat. The sentence should therefore read:
Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking, her family, and her dog.
- This initial workshop identified the work scopes and phasing generated several different sourcing strategies for those work scopes and proposed selection criteria to compare the sourcing strategies to best benefit the project. (Could you figure this one out?)
It would read so much better as: This initial workshop identified the work scopes and phasing, generated several different sourcing strategies for those work scopes, and proposed selection criteria to compare the sourcing strategies to best benefit the project.
Accurate copywriting is not only about grammar and punctuation, it’s also about ensuring that your facts are correct. No matter what type of writing you do, if you are including statistics, claims, scientific material or journalistic stories, it is most important that you check your facts. In today’s world of fake news, it’s more vital than ever to be accurate because your reputation as a writer will depend on it.
Proofreading your work for accuracy is also essential. And more than once. It’s often best to leave a piece of writing for a few hours, and then come back to it and check again with fresh eyes. In addition, your research should include at least two reputable sources. And you need to double-check those resources. Are they really experts? What is their background, etc., etc. Never think you know stuff. Never make it up to sound good or the way you want it. Writing is a powerful method of communication – and if done badly can have really adverse effects.
Online copywriting is a vast field in today’s cyber world. Keyword research makes accuracy in copywriting important. Finding the right keywords is not about the product or service you may be writing about, but inherently about the customer – how they search and how they think when searching for a particular subject. In this way, web content writing plays an important role in both communication and marketing where the purpose is to increase traffic, click throughs, and shares; and ultimately engine rankings.
To attract a large audience, you need to tailor your content in such a way that people find answers easily in readable but pertinent copy that they trust; copy that will certainly draw them to your site and away from your competitor’s. Always test your keywords in major search engines to determine whether they would be good choices for your website.
The CAN-DO Company
As writing and words are our profession, we’re naturally quite sticky about getting things right. Words create impressions, both in the way they are used in conjunction and in the context they are written. Copywriting is our trade, so we spend a lot of time finding the exact appropriate words, and putting them together in an attractive and persuasive format. We analyse, we note, we proofread, and we double check. It’s nit-picking that counts in our job. The beauty of words carefully vetted for meaning and accuracy, is that you can create whole new worlds.
It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you write it properly. And that’s really what we CAN DO – because we do it all the time.
Find out more about our services at: www.thecandocompany.co.za