Pore speling, bad punctuation; and terrible grammars

66 replies
[Note: I didn't post this in the copywriting forum because it is not just about copywriting - it touches on all forms of communication between business owners and their clientele.]


A subscriber of mine recently got on my case when I did a piece about the importance of being articulate, of correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and all the rest when you have an online business.

Ditto for oral and visual communication when you're on the phone or Skype with a client and when you're presenting at a workshop.

Yes, you should develop your own personna and use your own voice. But is it ever appropriate to ignore the rules and conventions of the language when you know better?

It was her contention that nobody cares about such things. Everyone online is used to seeing human communication at its worst online - in the forums, emails, comments on blogs, social media, etc. Nobody expects proper language on the Internet and if you're too perfect at writing, speaking and grammar you will sound weird and phoney to everyone else.

I'd like your feedback. What do you think?

Steve
#bad #grammars #pore #punctuation #speling #terrible
  • Profile picture of the author Britt Malka
    Did you do the spelling errors on purpose? Just curious

    Well, your subscriber should go and take a look at book reviews on Amazon. One of the things reviewers really dislike is spelling and grammar errors.

    Personally, if I really like a book, I don't give it one star less because the author writes "then" instead of "than" although that error annoys me a lot.

    On the other hand, I get highly irritated at people who write "ur" and really bad English like that. But that's beyond errors.

    And I believe, like you, that it's important to be as precise in your language as possible to avoid misunderstandings.

    I don't think you sound phoney because you use correct grammar, punctuation and spelling.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Harris
    I actually put a post about this in a FB group, recently. It really bugs me when I see bad spelling and grammar in sales pages!

    I'm willing to overlook it a bit if I know the person or have bought from them before, so it does depend. But, usually, it just strikes me as lazy, careless and unprofessional.
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    • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
      Originally Posted by Rob Harris View Post

      But, usually, it just strikes me as lazy, careless and unprofessional.
      My guess is that most people feel ^^this^^ way. After all, if you don't bother to proofread your own content, where else are you cutting corners? Did you cut corners with the product you created? Will you cut corners on the service you provide? If people are asking themselves these questions, they're most likely NOT going to spend their hard-earned money on whatever it is you're selling.
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      • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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        • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
          In other words, being tolerant of the limitations of others is of vital importance in the online world we live in today.
          Try reading some online reviews for something you personally loved and you will see just how tolerant consumers are today - not very!

          I was amazed when I read the reviews for my favorite local restaurant - the one where my husband and I go on our birthdays and where we take out of town guests. The things people cared enough about to give lousy reviews had me shaking my head. Those things just don't matter to me. However, it's a fact that those reviewers did care and for me to tell them to be tolerant would be stupid.

          The same goes for spelling, punctuation and grammar. You can say they don't matter much to you, but if you read Amazon reviews and blog posts, you can find plenty of evidence that they matter a lot to a lot of people. To others they don't matter.

          Preaching tolerance flies in the face of reality.

          Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author miklanderson2
    If I join a mailing list or click through to a website, I expect the message I see there to be properly formatted and relatively free of spelling, punctuation and grammar errors. While I might be able to forgive a typo here and there (I've been known to make them myself), the lack of proofreading wouldn't go unnoticed and would detract from the overall experience.

    I expect a little less from forum and blog comments, but I won't read something if it's so poorly written it requires a monumental effort to decode it.

    Being articulate and making sure you use good grammar, spelling and punctuation definitely isn't going to detract from your message. Following the rules and conventions of the language you're writing in is common sense. Unless you're catering to the lowest common denominator, nobody is going to look at what you've written and get upset because it was written correctly.
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    • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
      I normally totally ignore anything with poor spelling, bad punctuation, or terrible grammar, but that's just me. Many people will take that as an indication that the writer in uneducated and that the deficiency goes to their content.

      Tell your subscriber that they can take a hike.
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      Robin



      ...Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just set there.
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      • Profile picture of the author brutecky
        Originally Posted by RobinInTexas View Post

        I normally totally ignore anything with poor spelling, bad punctuation, or terrible grammar, but that's just me. Many people will take that as an indication that the writer in uneducated and that the deficiency goes to their content.

        Tell your subscriber that they can take a hike.
        Do you really think that spelling and grammar has anything to do with a persons knowledge or ability in any subject other then spelling or grammar?
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        • Profile picture of the author JensSteyaert
          Originally Posted by brutecky View Post

          Do you really think that spelling and grammar has anything to do with a persons knowledge or ability in any subject other then spelling or grammar?
          I agree.

          There's a difference between making a spelling or grammar error and not getting your message across or delivering value.

          Nobody should judge somebody's knowledge or ability on such trivial things imo...
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        • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
          Originally Posted by brutecky View Post

          Do you really think that spelling and grammar has anything to do with a persons knowledge or ability in any subject other then spelling or grammar?
          It might not relate directly to a particular subject, but it reflects on the person overall, and their attention to detail.
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          Robin



          ...Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just set there.
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          • Profile picture of the author Tom B
            Banned
            I tend to think these types of posts end up doing more harm than good.

            Look at all the threads talking about information overload. It has been my experience that things will start clicking when you actually start doing the stuff you read about.


            Threads, such as this, just make more newbies afraid of failing. Instead, I would rather them get something out there even if there are grammar cops that wouldn't buy from them.

            At the end of the day, most people hitting your website won't be customers. You're talking 1% to 2% conversions from cold traffic. Don't worry about grammar cops, get something out there and start testing.

            You will lose people because they don't like video sales letter, or long sales letter, or short sales letters, or any sales letter, or big red fonts on header...

            Our goal is to increase conversions.

            You also may find some grammatical errors lead to better conversions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Hess
    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    A subscriber of mine recently got on my case when I did a piece about the importance of being articulate, of correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and all the rest when you have an online business.
    I've known a TON of very smart and articulate people over the years with perfect spelling, punctuation, and grammar, that have gone absolutely no where because they were too smart and articulate for their own good.

    Some people know there are advantages to using bad grammar, spelling, and all the rest especially in certain niches.

    Ben Settle wrote a good email/post about spelling Nazi's: Why A Spelling Nazi’s Tears Mean My Joy
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    • Originally Posted by Mark Hess View Post

      I've known a TON of very smart and articulate people over the years with perfect spelling, punctuation, and grammar, that have gone absolutely no where because they were too smart and articulate for their own good.

      Some people know there are advantages to using bad grammar, spelling, and all the rest especially in certain niches.

      Ben Settle wrote a good email/post about spelling Nazi's: Why A Spelling Nazi's Tears Mean My Joy
      I agree, I almost feel the nit-pickers and I have met hundreds in person are almost always broke. I know people who make millions and always get told how horrible their grammar is.
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  • Profile picture of the author fallison
    I try hard with spelling but with grammar and punctuation, I write in a conversational tone. That means I may have a comma placed wrong or a sentence ending with a preposition. I don't believe most people notice errors like this because that is how they talk, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I think you should unsubscribe her (unless she's a customer ) and keep marketing the way you've been doing. Wouldn't make sense to earn $100k a year, and then instantly change things because of what 1 subscriber said. Man you know what you're doing... keep doing it. I'm sure you have a family to support.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
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  • Profile picture of the author daileywealth
    I think it depends on who you are trying to reach and the medium you are using. It's ok in my opinion to have a grammatical or spelling error sometimes. You don't want to come off as too perfect but you want to be yourself too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    But is it ever appropriate to ignore the rules and conventions of the language when you know better?
    Yes; I think so. For "effect"/readability/entertainment.

    I quite often do. I often start sentences with "And" and "But" (as you just did, yourself). But these things are perhaps "stylistic", rather than "right"/"wrong"?

    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    It was her contention that nobody cares about such things.
    Call me outspoken (it's been said ) but I think this is nonsense, and typically an attempted self-justification of some kind by poor writers.

    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    Everyone online is used to seeing human communication at its worst online - in the forums, emails, comments on blogs, social media, etc. Nobody expects proper language on the Internet and if you're too perfect at writing, speaking and grammar you will sound weird and phoney to everyone else.
    I don't mind: I'd rather be thought weird or phoney (or phony) than write carelessly. Just my perspective.

    Paul Myers might think I'm a wombat, and he might sometimes be right.

    It depends on the context, in my view.

    In the Copywriting Forum here, many of the successful copywriters are habitually quick to make the point that with sales copy, writing designed to show itself off tends to convert very badly (and I know they're right). I do sometimes err on this side with article-writing, and I tell myself that it suits my traffic demographics, loses me nothing and perhaps even helps me. That's obviously a significantly different context from that of sales copy. This is my story, and I'm sticking to it.

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    People are ridiculous sometimes. Don't like bad grammar, spelling errors? Then don't read or better yet, take your ass back to school and become a writing teacher. I've seen millionaires, and the most professional people I know, make grammar and spelling errors, and do you think I sit there taking them to task over their grammar/spelling errors? Get a life, seriously.

    You don't buy anything if you find a grammar/spelling error on the sales page? Then good for you, want a pat on the behind? Some of the dumbest people I've ever met, have perfect grammar but couldn't find their way out of wet paper bag. When people point out my bad grammar, I tell them "no $%it Sherlock, tell me something I don't know"

    If you're a great writing, then good for you, don't be an ass about it. Everybody has the flaws. You may be a great writer, but bad in bed, or a great writer but a bad parent. Unless your name is Chuck Norris, you have flaws, so don't be quick to point out others flaws.

    Instead of trying to look like a smart ass, do something productive like offer to proof read and correct some of these grammar/spelling errors.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kim Writes
    As others have already said, in my opinion it really depends on the context and the situation. I treat a casual environment casually, and a professional one professionally.

    And learn how to spell, Steve B. It's not grammar, it's grammer!

    </sarcasm>
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      I've known a TON of very smart and articulate people over the years with perfect spelling, punctuation, and grammar, that have gone absolutely no where because they were too smart and articulate for their own good.
      This is what is known as a logical fallacy.

      Some smart people with perfect spelling etc. don't succeed.

      Does that mean you shouldn't do your best on spelling, etc.?

      No, absolutely not.

      It's like saying some people who eat peanut butter and jelly end up in jail, therefore you shouldn't eat peanut butter and jelly.

      When I see people arguing like this I know I won't like what they write.

      Feel free to make different choices, of course.

      Marcia Yudkin
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Hess
        Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

        This is what is known as a logical fallacy.

        Some smart people with perfect spelling etc. don't succeed.

        Does that mean you shouldn't do your best on spelling, etc.?

        No, absolutely not.

        It's like saying some people who eat peanut butter and jelly end up in jail, therefore you shouldn't eat peanut butter and jelly.

        When I see people arguing like this I know I won't like what they write.

        Feel free to make different choices, of course.

        Marcia Yudkin
        I was referring to this part of Steve's post, that's why I quoted it when I made my post:

        Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

        A subscriber of mine recently got on my case when I did a piece about the importance of being articulate, of correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and all the rest when you have an online business.
        You can look through the top sellers on any of these instant pay affiliate platforms and know that being articulate, correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and all the rest are of relatively little importance compared to how well you connect with your peers and audience.

        The 'smart and articulate' people I was referring to are those who rather be 'smart and articulate' on their way to being broke because they prioritized spelling and grammar over connecting with their audience or people that could help them go further in their business.

        People can be too articulate for their own good....

        Maybe I should have worded it differently or added more detail to my original post
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    being articulate, correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and all the rest are of relatively little importance compared to how well you connect with your peers and audience.
    One of my early mentors (I was 18) built a multi-million dollar business (Honer Supply) from nothing. He taught me some of the best marketing information I ever learned. Don was one of those guys who could sell barbecue grills in hell.

    When I knew him he was in his 70's, spending summers in the lakes area of Central Minnesota, where I was raised. The guy could read and write little more then his name.

    The moral of the story?

    Don't let little things like a tenuous grasp on written language (like yours truly) deter you.

    </storytimewithbrent>
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  • Profile picture of the author Simpilot938
    The odd spelling or grammar mistake here and there is forgiveable, but a whole article or book done that way is not.

    I know that 'text-speak' came from a time when 300bps was the norm for connecting and online time was charged by the minute. This was further reinforced when mobile phone texting was limited to 160 characters, but in these days of (usually) faster uploads and relatively limitless bandwidth, I don't see any excuse for abbreviated common words.

    Brevity might be the soul of wit but bad grammar needs a hammer!

    Regards,

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  • Profile picture of the author goindeep
    Personally I could care less when communicating e.g. facebook, email, forums etc.

    I do expect a good level of spelling and grammar in articles I read or books I buy, but that's just a given.

    And I completely agree with Brent Stangel.
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
      My take on this is simple:

      Bad spelling and grammar have the potential to piss off (and put off) a percentage of your audience, whereas accurate spelling and reasonably good grammar are invisible.

      Nobody ever said "I'm not going to buy that product because there were no spelling errors on the sales page and the grammar was perfect." They didn't notice and got to the call to action without having their attention diverted.

      Note that I specified 'reasonably' good grammar. I'm with Alexa on using conversational grammar because - online at least - that has become the norm. Grammar tends to change over time; spelling tends not to.

      Anything that breaks the flow of your writing, be it your sales letter, your ebook or an article, for even a small percentage of your audience, has the potential to reduce sales. That's just bad marketing.

      It is also interesting that very often the people who claim that spelling and grammar are not important are those who make the fewest mistakes themselves!
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  • Profile picture of the author Katie Rich
    If spelling and grammar are irrelevant, why do editors bother with proof reading?

    Some people find it totally unacceptable and some couldn't care less. We all have different views. For me, commas drive me mad. I never know where to put them (and no, I don't need any suggestions, thank you very much!)
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Katie,
      If spelling and grammar are irrelevant, why do editors bother with proof reading?
      WOMBAT ALERT!

      Proofread is a single word. It is not hyphenated and does not require a space. And editors usually don't do that job. You need to learn to disambiguate your sentences if you wish to correct others in a fashion that will be taken seriously.

      Commas, by the way, are easy. Learn to distinguish between dependent and independent clauses and you're gold. If they give you trouble, stick to shorter sentences.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Katie,WOMBAT ALERT!

        Proofread is a single word. It is not hyphenated and does not require a space. And editors usually don't do that job. You need to learn to disambiguate your sentences if you wish to correct others in a fashion that will be taken seriously.

        Commas, by the way, are easy. Learn to distinguish between dependent and independent clauses and you're gold. If they give you trouble, stick to shorter sentences.


        Paul
        Lol, I read alot of sports columns, and I see spelling errors every single day that gets past the editors

        I think some people just like to hear themselves talk. Even some of the best writers not named Alexa Smith make grammar and spelling errors, especially when they are pointing out the errors of others

        I have a bad habit of leaving out or repeating words, and Warriors still got what I was trying to say and answered my questions without any insults or jokes. Those are the people I respect the most, those are the people I like to do business with
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Alex,

          Dude, I am guilty of probably 50 or so typos every day. I drop the letter e all the time, and I mis-hit (hyphenated to avoid vulgarity filters) or double-strike probably 2 keys per paragraph. Somehow, I still manage to make myself understood.

          Baiting wombats is among my favorite pastimes. They get focused on whatever minutiae they've absorbed and lose the real meaning of grammar entirely.

          Simple rule: If grammar gets in the way of communication, throw the book out the window.


          Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Katie Rich
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Katie,WOMBAT ALERT!

        Proofread is a single word. It is not hyphenated and does not require a space. And editors usually don't do that job. You need to learn to disambiguate your sentences if you wish to correct others in a fashion that will be taken seriously.
        Obrigada, Paulo.

        I did wonder what it would feel like to be a Wombat!
        That was supposed to say 'proofreaders'.
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        • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
          I just finished reading a book that profiles some very successful people who are profoundly dyslexic. This is a physiological condition that makes it hard for them to read and write. Interestingly, not a one of them would wish dyslexia on their own children, even though they managed to rise above the condition.

          The relevance to this discussion is this: Having a good grasp of spelling, punctuation and grammar is neither necessary nor sufficient for success. However, no one with their head on straight would say you should deliberately avoid developing an awareness of correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. You can succeed without it, but it's better to have it so you have a choice of whether to use it or not in a specific situation.

          Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Steve,

    I believe there is only one 'n' in persona.

    Okay. I couldn't resist. That looked like the only unintentional typo in the post. You do realize, I hope, that the majority of grammar cops would not spell grammar without an 'e?'

    General response...

    If you want to wombat someone, do it over syntax. I gloss over typos without even noticing most times. Busted syntax can make an otherwise sensible sentence incomprehensible.

    As for the rest, a quote from an old spamfighter comes to mind, albeit in a different context: "Be conservative in what you generate and liberal in what you accept."

    Do your best and get better. And remember that other people have other priorities and other primary languages.

    Oh. One other thing. When you're tempted to bash someone for whom English is a second language for their "abuse of the language," do it in fluent Urdu, or Farsi, or Portuguese.


    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    It is also interesting that very often the people who claim that spelling and grammar are not important are those who make the fewest mistakes themselves!
    I think we all would love to have perfect grammar and spelling, but that's not going to happen. People come from all walks of life, and not everybody has access to the same education. Me personally, I grow up dirt poor and lived in the poorest neighborhoods. I worked when I should have been more into school because frankly, if I didn't work we didn't eat, it's that simple.

    My English has a Spanish accent, my spelling is decent and my grammar is terrible, but that doesn't stop me from making a living. I help in my community, and I donate to as many charities as possible. I would love to speak and write like the best of them, but that ain't going to happen. I am just an ole Ohio boy, who works hard for his money, and is happy in his own skin.

    Sure grammar and spelling is important, especially when it comes to books, but it's not a deal breaker. People get the wrong idea and think if you have good grammar that they must be smart, but that is not the case. Dummies come in all shapes and sizes, and all of our shit smells the same. The most successful people I've ever met, have a rags to riches story, and I don't sit there questioning their grammar.

    There is nothing wrong with having good grammar and spelling, we all would like have the same, but in the real world it doesn't always work out that way.

    When you're tempted to bash someone
    I think people that bash others on the internet over grammar, have themselves been bullied at one time or another.

    I personally read alot of grammar and spelling mistakes, and never give it a second thought on what they meant to say. My brain auto-fixes spelling or grammar errors, and I get what they are saying. My brain even knows when someone is typing with two fingers and one finger hits a key before the other, but that's probably something the grammar police are not willing accept.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jtraits
    for me, spelling and grammar is really important. It shows if someone has really spent time writing it or it was just doing it mechanically. Someone that uses good structure on writing, i would like to see more of his posts / shares
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    Simple rule: If grammar gets in the way of communication, throw the book out the window.
    I agree 100%

    I've noticed most of the grammar police are people who sell articles to people with bad grammar. They might not buy from you if you have bad grammar, but they have no problem with you buying from them
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    As a writer, proofreader and editor, I can't stand bad grammar, spelling and punctuation and all the other issues. I do offer to proofread material if I see it (for a price.) I have been asked to review products and sometimes I find they're so full of errors that I tell the person that I can't in good conscience, give them a good review UNLESS they want my help to fix the problems.

    Sometimes they're wise and take me up on my offer and other times they get p##### off.

    I know not everybody has the same skills I have in this area which is why I offer my services. Everyone has different skills which is what makes the world go around.
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  • Profile picture of the author Humbee360
    I am willing to overlook some spelling and grammar issues, from time to time, I see it and I just smile, but when I notice it, I almost always do not purchase the product being sold, even if it seems like a good product because the bottom line here is this if someone is too lazy to proofread their own sales page or get someone else to do it, then how good can the product itself be?

    When I see obvious communication problems before I even decide if I want to become a customer what can I expect when I do become a customer?

    Its not about being the grammar police, language is evolving certainly however I do feel that if a product sales page has a weakness the seller should care enough about what they are selling to get it right or at least as gooder as they can.

    LOL, sorry.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I agree with Humbee. Laziness in writing and grammar tells me that the person is lazy about other stuff as well and so they don't need my money either.

    The ones who don't want my help when offered are the ones I am even more unlikely to spend money with. NOT because they don't want my help per se but because they don't want to take that extra step to perfect their product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    It's funny how people say they wont buy from people with poor grammar, but they have and continue to buy hundreds of products made, grown, and created by people with poor grammar.

    These same people have hundreds if not thousands of products made in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Mexico and other poor countries, by people who couldn't spell their own name even if their lives depended on it.

    I agree bad grammar and spelling is not a good thing, but you are damn lie if you say would not buy from these people. You have and will continue to buy products created, grown, and made by people with bad grammar for the rest of your life, because your life depends on it.

    I'm starting to think that some of the people who are say they will not stand for bad grammar or spelling, are doing it just to promote their own writing services. If you wont buy from people with bad grammar, then maybe people with bad grammar shouldn't buy from you.

    They are saying they wont buy products from people with poor grammar and spelling, but they are typing this on a product made by people who can't spell or use proper grammar.

    Next time you chow down on some food, remember that it probably came from some farmer in Mexico who couldn't spell the word corn, but is keeping your ass alive by growing it and selling it to you
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    • Profile picture of the author Kim Writes
      Originally Posted by Alex Blades View Post

      It's funny how people say they wont buy from people with poor grammar, but they have and continue to buy hundreds of products made, grown, and created by people with poor grammar.

      These same people have hundreds if not thousands of products made in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Mexico and other poor countries, by people who couldn't spell their own name even if their lives depended on it.
      Bravo! THANK YOU...
      The fact is that we (as a society) love, love, LOVE to judge a book by its cover. The assumption that the product itself is worthless based on a damn misspelling is just wrong and borderline immature.

      Kinda reminds me of people who hate those who are overweight. Those who associate or perceive overweight people with being lazy, uneducated, and dumb.

      This is nothing but the Halo Effect, grammar edition.

      I rest my case.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve B
        I hate cilantro! It's absolutely the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted. It poisons every recipe and dish it touches.

        Take a 13 year old boys socks that he's worn all summer without changing, put them in a mixing bowl, add a cup of liquid drained from the bottom of your garbage can, let stand for 3 weeks, wring out the socks into the liquid, then serve with rice, salsa, taco salad or anything else. Now you know the taste of cilantro . . . to me, at least.

        My wife loves cilantro. She can't get enough of it. She would serve it with peanut butter, sprinkle it on ice cream or add it to the pancake mix if she thought I wouldn't notice.


        Now, back to this thread.

        Like expecting the wife and I to agree about cilantro, I would never expect a gaggle of Internet marketers on a public forum to come to consensus about anything. Because so many have chimed in, I'm thinking that you feel strongly enough about the thread's topic that, at the very least, you're willing to share your opinion. Thank you for that!

        This may be one of those topics . . . that when all's said and done . . .

        there's still plenty to be said and nothing's done.

        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
          Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

          Like expecting the wife and I to agree about cilantro,
          The wife and me. That's it. I'm never going to read any more of your threads.




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          • Profile picture of the author Steve B
            Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

            The wife and me. That's it. I'm never going to read any more of your threads.

            Frank,

            Love it!

            Please forgive I . . . first time me ever made a mistake.

            Steve
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          • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
            Originally Posted by Jtraits View Post

            for me, spelling and grammar is really important. It shows if someone has really spent time writing it or it was just doing it mechanically. Someone that uses good structure on writing, i would like to see more of his posts / shares
            What about capitalization and periods?


            I look past spelling and grammar mistakes all the time, especially my own, they're the hardest to catch. Having admitted that...

            If your sales copy has too many errors, you will lose customers. Whether you think spelling and grammar are important or not, some folks do, and a percentage of them won't buy from you if they see too many mistakes.

            Whether that's because they don't trust your product (read YOU) because of the errors, or simply because they detest spelling and grammar errors doesn't matter. What matters is, are you OK with losing customers over spelling and grammar? If not, fix the mistakes.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Alex, don't accuse people of lying. I don't say things just to promote my services. I don't buy products when I see bad grammar and that is a fact.
    Also some of the products are NOT made by the Mexicans you describe but by people who claim to have good grammar.

    I am not going to get into a flame war over this. End of discussion. I have said my 2 cents worth.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I agree with Steve. It's such a hot topic that people won't agree on it. So, in the interests of fair play, let's agree to disagree and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author thatjc
    I expect that there are (a few) people who don't care about speech and writing grammar and articulation. I'm not one of those.

    If you want to impress me, especially in a sales message, your communication had better be professional, clear and concise. Clarity is critical. You should make your meaning ultra clear. It should never be my job to "make meaning" from your communication.

    That's not to say your communication can't be human sounding, reflect your personality and even be "folksy". Sounding like a real person with a real personality, not a corporate brand (or should that be "bland"), doesn't mean you have to sound like a person ignorant of communication "best practices".

    Especially when text content is all people have to go on, copyrighting quality is paramount. Anyone responsible for public communication should read and take to heart one or more of the many books on writing advertising copy, public speaking, visual communication, etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Laurence,
      It's such a hot topic that people won't agree on it. So, in the interests of fair play, let's agree to disagree and move on.
      Is someone stopping you from moving on? Hell, I didn't even correct the errors in your posts!


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  • Profile picture of the author Javisito
    In my opinion when it come to sales, either it is online or offline you cannot sell in the same way to all people. With this being said if you're doing a sales call it is easy to adapt to the prospects level. However on a sales copy you only get one change. So even if some is thinking it i either bad or good grammar and spelling another person might just buy.

    There is always two sides of a coin ;P
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

    Alex, don't accuse people of lying. I don't say things just to promote my services. I don't buy products when I see bad grammar and that is a fact.
    Also some of the products are NOT made by the Mexicans you describe but by people who claim to have good grammar.

    I am not going to get into a flame war over this. End of discussion. I have said my 2 cents worth.
    I didn't accuse anybody of lying, and who said anything about a flaming war? I was just being honest. People talk about bad grammar like it's some disease. If everyone had good grammar, we'd all be on the internet making fun of people with bad grammar, and there would nobody left to grow the food we eat.

    Whether you want to admit it or not, the very livelihood of you and your family depends on people with bad grammar, spelling, and zero education. Unless you grow your own food, dig up the earth for your own materials, to make the things you use everyday at home, your car and your back, you buy from people with bad grammar.

    I wasn't singling you out when in my previous post, a few people said they would never buy from people with bad grammar or spelling. I should have just named you in my post, instead of lumping you into a group. You say you "can't stand reading bad grammar" but I'm pretty sure there are people who "can't stand reading" your good grammar. Here is an example...

    I agree with Humbee. Laziness in writing and grammar tells me that the person is lazy about other stuff as well and so they don't need my money either.
    That has got to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. To assume that people are lazy and don't need your money because of grammar errors, is ignorant as hell. Grammar is something that is taught, not something that takes a 5 hour energy do.

    I am a firm believer, that you are a product of your environment, and not everybody has access to the same education. Take it from a guy who grew up in the poorest city, and went to the worse schools in the nation in Cleveland Ohio. We all would love to use proper grammar and spelling, nobody uses bad grammar on purpose. I don't get embarrassed about my bad grammar, but I try my best to satisfy the grammar police, so you guys can understand what I am saying.

    Yeah my grammar sucks, and my English could use some work, but guess what? Life goes on. My kid is in college studying to be a criminal psychologist and my bills are paid. I don't owe anybody money, and I lend a helping hand every chance I get. I'd love to improve my writing in the future, but for now I will refrain from writing books
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      a few people said they would never buy from people with bad grammar or spelling.
      I think you misunderstood.

      No one was arguing that people with bad grammar or spelling do not do essential work in our society. They might be picking apples, fixing cars or even doing surgery.

      The point made was that they don't, or shouldn't, have positions where their bad grammar or spelling is part of the selling process.

      Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    The point made was that they don't, or shouldn't, have positions where their bad grammar or spelling is part of the selling process.
    I get that part, that's why most outsource, but they are saying that the product must be bad and the owner lazy because of grammar errors. That is nonsense.

    I admit I have a blog that has full of grammatically errors from punctuation, correct grammar and spelling. But, it doesn't mean that I am lazy. I've worked hard for my blogs to write it perfectly, but sometimes it's never enough. Sometimes, I wished that I have lots of money to pay for article writer; but I don't have. All I can do is proofread it on proofreader websites.

    English is not my first language, I am suffering from dyslexia, I'm never gone to college. But, those obstacles will not stop me for pursuing what I want and I want to share for my readers.

    I provide value rather than a perfect grammar. I even tell my readers prankly that I am not a good writer, but I will never scam anyone of them.
    No, you are just lazy and don't deserve my business. Atleast that is what some people with good grammar are assuming
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    • Profile picture of the author philipsimbahan
      Originally Posted by Alex Blades View Post

      I get that part, that's why most outsource, but they are saying that the product must be bad and the owner lazy because of grammar errors. That is nonsense.

      No, you are just lazy and don't deserve my business.
      I actually rooting for you about Lawrence post and now with that attitude?.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
        Originally Posted by philipsimbahan View Post

        I actually rooting for you about Lawrence post and now with that attitude?.
        I was just being sarcastic and repeating what others have said, I wasn't insulting the guy, it was a shot at people who say bad grammar is due to laziness.

        I already know that people come from different backgrounds, and bad grammar doesn't bother me at all. I applaud the guy for being honest, and believe him when he says he tries his best to give value. I am an entrepreneur, not a critic.
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  • Profile picture of the author nightbre
    If I see grammatical errors on a site when im deciding if it is genuine or not im more inclined to avoid it. The reasoning for me is if they get basic words wrong it doesnt instill confidence in the backend with your data ect and if your trying to be big league like some places ive worked the site having typos is a no no if your trying to impress customers who can simply click elsewhere.

    I think even if you cant spell just get somone who can to check it over. A second set of eyes checking over something can pick up a lot you overlook or take for granted in many situations.

    Thats my main thoughts on this as a consumer online.
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  • Profile picture of the author JessUBotNinja
    I cannot understand why you would not go out of your way to represent yourself and your business in a positive light. Yes, this includes your grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I have regularly asked people to step up their game in written communication on professional levels, and passed up doing business with some people because of their inability to represent themselves in an educated manner.

    Especially with all of the tools out there to help you, most of the time these "mistakes" are just sheer laziness.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Thanks, Alex. Sometimes it is hard to tell when people are being sarcastic and being genuine.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      Thanks, Alex. Sometimes it is hard to tell when people are being sarcastic and being genuine.
      Actually, I was just repeating what you said and called the guy lazy, even though he was genuine with his reasons for struggling with his grammar.

      I remember years ago, I was talking to some old man from Italy, and he didn't speak a lick of English. Instead of playing stupid and repeating "CAN YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?" I just started speaking to him in Spanish. The two languages were close enough, that we understood each other and the conversation ended with me and him laughing and smiling. I got the place I wanted, and he walked away with $12,000 lease commitment from me.

      You can either adapt or choose to be petty about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author graphicsdev
    Sometimes, it can be a turn-off.. Except for a couple missed spelling issues on a good copy.

    However, when it becomes difficult enough to understand it also shows no professionalism. Plus, how can you get your real message across?
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  • Profile picture of the author UncleDearest
    It matters to me and affects my decision to keep going or stop when reading an article. The worst example for me, the one that just bothers me to no end is when someone says "I made 3 sells today," or "How can I sale an ebook to people?" I see this all the time and makes me NUTS!
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  • Profile picture of the author Angshuman Dutta
    I always feel that its the "little things" that talk big about you. If "poor" becomes "pore" and you are not aware of it or simply don't care, you will grow "poorer" (or porer LOL) for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author JeanneLynn
    I think people get far too excited about grammar and spelling errors. Unless the mistakes are horrendous, I don't think badly of the writer. I write and edit, and when I go over my own work, I find tons of typos and mistakes that need to be corrected. After I hit the submit button, I often find typos that I missed when I edited it the first time! I'm lucky enough to have had a good education so usually a grammar or spelling error is just a typo. I know most of the basic rules of grammar and I won many spelling bees when I was in school. I think some people make others feel bad if there is a mistake and I think that's wrong. How many great stories or blog posts aren't written because the writer thinks their grammar isn't good enough? One of the best stories I ever read on Kindle was written without a single comma. Obviously the author couldn't afford an editor, but her story was really great anyway.

    That said, I am turned off by content that's poorly produced, researched or spun. This is usually the result of someone paying a couple bucks to a person who isn't a native English speaker.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Wow! I never thought grammar could be such a dramatic and emotional subject. This thread could be a "Reality show". You gotta love it.

      I've purchased from marketing materials with a few misspelled words. But the product solution hit my sweet spot. So, I bought anyway.

      But I must admit. If I'm reading a sales page and see more than 3 errors, it usually makes me stop and think - instead of continue reading.

      While many times in the process of thinking, doubt or distraction sets in and I bounce.

      Moral: As a writer I want my reader to sail down the page - like a slippery slide. But unfortunately, grammatical and spelling errors act like speed bumps to reading. So, they irritate many people just like riding fast over speed bumps in your car. "Ouch!"
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelChief
    I would personally never buy any high-ticket item from someone with poor spelling and grammar. I'd be hesitant to buy any information-based product from someone with poor spelling and grammar even if it were just $5. Granted, I actually did buy a $5 ebook recently from someone with a poor command of English, but it was only after a lot of careful consideration on my side.

    So, if someone's trying to make a living off of purely peddling huge quantities of cheap crap then I suppose they can get by without careful attention to spelling and grammar but it's absolutely necessary in any higher levels.
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  • Profile picture of the author master reseller
    If you're just texting your friends on Facebook, then talk or chat however you want. But, for business presentations and communication, maintain professionalism by using correct grammar. At least, that's my standard.
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  • Profile picture of the author goindeep
    Just to add to this... some marketers use incorrect spelling and or grammar very well, very very well.
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