A couple of weeks ago, I saw this on one of my favorite blogs, and it made me laugh and got me thinking about the proper use of grammar in our frenetic-paced lifestyles. In the age of sound bytes, texting and communicating in 140 characters or less, does good grammar matter anymore? Does anyone still care?
As a literature major, marketing professional and someone who enjoys finding typos in restaurant menus, I care, but of course I am more than a little biased. If you want to be perceived as educated, thoughtful and as someone who can intelligently command the English language, then yes, pay attention to grammar and usage.
Under some circumstances, however, bad grammar can be more efficient and even advantageous. Brevity is king throughout many social media channels, and it has become universally understood and accepted that syntax and spelling fall by the wayside.
Where it really gets interesting is when copywriters create good campaigns based on bad grammar. When it’s done well, the copy does as was intended: it gets your attention and makes you pause on the message and creative a little longer than normal.
In some cases, as with the Got Milk? slogan, it takes on a life of its own and is copied ad nauseum (but that’s why it was so brilliant!)
The challenge today is that, since most of us consistently use bad grammar in our daily communications, will this type of disruptive advertising still be effective? To the point, would we even recognize bad grammar if we saw it?