A plea on behalf of your reader
Last Update: Aug 29, 2014
Imagine, if you will, you have agreed to bake a cake for your friend's birthday - or some other occasion.
You are not as confident as you might be, because you have not baked many cakes in the past, but you understand the principles involved and have a great recipe to guide you. You also have all of the necessary ingredients assembled, so you are good to go.
On the big day, you find yourself a little short of time, so you arrive at your friend's house with a bowl of beautifully mixed and blended ingredients. All they need is some time in the oven, which means the cake will be perfect - just as all the guests have left and gone home!
What on earth does this have to do with you and your readers?
Like most people nowadays, I scan and read a lot of material on websites, Most of it is for my own benefit, either information, education or entertainment.
As a member of the WA community, I do read some sites I would not usually visit, simply with the aim of giving some useful feedback. Many of these provide me with some unexpected gems.
Unfortunately, there are others which are just like the half-baked cake, in the example above. When I read a page which has more than one or two typo mistakes, spelling errors, or plain bad grammar, I believe that the author is doing him/her self, and the readers, a great disservice.
Even great writers need to re-write and revise their work. Earnest Hemmingway was reputed to edit and re-write every piece of work seven or eight times. While we are not trying to produce great literature, we owe our readers content which is presented in a clear and understandable fashion.
There are two possible explanations for badly written content: the first is lack of knowledge. This in itself can be forgiven (particularly those writing in their second language), but there are so many tools available to help, a little time and effort can bridge the knowledge gap.
(As I write this in the WA Rapid Writer, the spell checker has corrected me a few times already).
The second possibility is carelessness, which cannot be forgiven. If you do not care enough, why should your reader?
We here at Wealthy Affiliate are all in pursuit of excellence; most have a message they wish to share and benefit others. We who need help can learn how to get it, I believe very few, if any, questions are ignored.
Let us all take the opportunity to show readers the best efforts we can produce and not expect them to put up with a half-baked cake.
Thanks John. I'm not great at writing and particularly spelling. So I always have a dictionary nearby to help with grammar and spelling
I was taught to read my post out loud and listen to how it sounds. Not being a good writer, speller or grammar guy. It helps me.
Thanks for sharing your thought, John. This is why we are reiterating the importance of going back to and checking our sites. There is always one or two errors that we may have missed. Half-baked sites will not bring us anywhere.
Good points, John. I do agree with you but many posts, pages and articles are written in a more casual manner than pedantic grammar and sentence structure. We learned at school not to finish a sentence with a preposition yet we do it so often when we speak. I personally detest poor spelling and lack of clarity in written work but I willingly accept writing that feels like the person is speaking to me instead of trying to achieve perfection. ~Marion
It seems to be more acceptable these days to relax grammar rules on the internet.
In social settings, well, who cares. But in the business world, clients can be less forgiving - they won't buy from us!
The most important reason to use proper grammar, syntax and spelling is to ensure that we convey our message clearly without any room for misunderstanding.
This is an excellent blog! Unfortunately we all make mistakes, but there is a difference between mistakes and the half-baked cake. I too keep a dictionary at my side and have a spell check in my computer, and like Bill I read content aloud. Then knowing my reading perception may be different, I will often ask for someone else to read it as well. Sort of watching and testing the cake, lol. Christa