I have been in countless conversations with industry professionals about the importance of grammar when writing a blog or participating in social media. Many people place massive amounts of importance on using correct grammar and punctuation.
To be honest, I have been mystified by the “utmost importance” of using correct grammar when writing a blog. Let me state for the record that you cannot sound like a complete idiot. You need to be able to complete sentences and write in some form of rational thought… but that is not what is of importance.
The truth is not in grammar but in the content of your blog. I can read a blog that is perfect in every aspect of the English language. The spelling is perfect. There are NO run on sentences. Commas and parentheses are placed in the exact form that would make any English professor smile. And yet… the content is absolutely horrid.
Give me terrible grammar and great content any day of the week.
When you are writing a blog whether it is for thought leadership or news and information.. it is important to focus on the content before anything else. You do need to be conscious of spelling because it is easy (Spell check anyone?).
Now..there are cases where I can admit grammar plays a role. If you are writing a public relations blog or a English/grammar content… it is important to focus on correct grammar.
There are times when focusing toooooo intently on correct grammar can kill your content. Just make sure you are focusing on the right thing.
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Although I am a grammar junkie, I have to admit I see your point. Content is more important than grammar, ultimately.
Nonetheless, I am having trouble divorcing from the idea that poor grammar subtracts from one's credibility. No matter how spot-on one's views may be, the overt misuse of your/you're or their/they're/there just makes me psychotic. It's like watching a bad magician trying to finish an awful routine when the entire audience already knows the trick.
While the judgmental part of me wants to chalk this up to plain carelessness, I also realize that there are lots of other factors involved (upbringing, education, brain chemistry, etc.).
All things told, Gen Y will seem like Rhodes scholars compared to the dimwits of the next publicly educated generation. They don't even teach cursive anymore!
But in the interest of progress and relevance, I will make the attempt to offer more free passes for those who don't hold the language as dear as I. (Oh God that sounded like my dad).
After all, mercy trumps judgment . . . and right-brainers will soon rule the world!
Just because something isn't necessary doesn't mean its not valuable. You will always lose some component of credibility through poor grammar. While you may overcome it through other offsetting advantages, why leave that potential money on the table?
Great post. As a PR pro, grammar is really important when writing (which you point out). But I do agree that content is king. The other element that I think is crucial for blog post is flow/rhythym. You don't here about it often, and there is not an exact formula for getting it right, but it can make or break a read for me.
I'd agree that content is the most important, but I believe grammar is also very important. Grammatical errors in a blog stick out to me like a salesman with leftover salad stuck in his teeth. He can say the all the best things, but all I can think about is the tree that's growing out of his mouth!
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Now I feel sutpid. That’s cleared it up for me
Why spend time to craft meaningful content and then undermine it with lazy grammar and spellinng?
…funny, look what I did there!
Good work. 🙂
I really feel good when I read a blog and with spelling or grammar error
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