For every organisation, clear, precise, and considered communication is crucial. Whether you are advertising to potential customers or notifying colleagues inside the company of an upcoming change, it is important for the message to be intelligible and easy to understand.
There are many factors that can make a message unclear, the most common of which is the grammatical error. A professional but error-strewn communication can not only confuse your audience but also come across as lazy, rushed, or insincere.
For businesses, a grammatically incorrect website or advertisement can have a severely damaging effect. A Global Lingo study in 2013 showed that 59% of British web users “wouldn’t trust” a company whose website or marketing material contained grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. This goes to show the potential damage to your brand and reputation even a few small mistakes can cause.
Although grammatical mistakes come in many different forms, some are more common than others. Let’s briefly cover some of the more regularly spotted and easily fixable errors:
You will not have to go far to find a piece of writing that includes an apostrophe being misused.
Apostrophes should only be used for two things:
- To demonstrate that two words have been conjoined and that letters have been removed. For example, “it is” becomes “it’s”, or “do not” becomes “don’t”.
- To show that a noun (a thing, object, or feeling) belongs to someone. For example, “that is Dick’s dog” or “Reginald’s emotions got the better of him”.
Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation, but different meanings, spellings, or origins.
Make sure you aren’t caught out by some of these common homophones:
How the Hyphen?!
The hyphen is probably the most underused grammatical tool, but it is one that adds necessary clarity to your communications. In most circumstances, hyphens are used to create compound adjectives — two or more adjectives that are joined together to modify the same noun. A common example would be “high-quality”, such as “a high-quality school”. The exception to this rule is when the first adjective ends with an ‘ly’ suffix. For example, “a highly qualified doctor” does not require a hyphen.
It is important to note, however, that compound adjectives only require a hyphen when used before the noun. For example, “an over-cooked meal” requires a hyphen, whereas a “meal that’s over cooked” does not.
Keeping Schools’ Communications Clear
Eduprise is a consultancy that is relied upon by multi-academy trusts and schools to provide clear, effective, and grammatically correct communications on their behalf. We become the MAT’s marketing team, using our knowledge and expertise to deliver measurable results. Each internal and external communication is professionally written and designed to maximise engagement and impact.