The power of great language resources and consistent style…

Just some quick thoughts about the balancing act between expressing your voice in your business (and even personal) communications yet still needing to recognize that there are grammar, punctuation, and style rules to follow AND that they’re worth following! While many people seem to feel that following rules smacks of grade school and may even inhibit their style, the fact of the matter is that people DO notice errors and inconsistencies, even if just on a visceral level. I’ve listed some of my favorite print resources on the www.connotation.biz Website, with the awesome Gregg Reference Manual 10th Edition being the “must have,” go-to resource… Then, ensure that you have a style guide that will keep you consistent, even in your quasicasual correspondence, be it an e-mail or blog entry. This is where you’ll keep track of whether you’re using series commas before and and or in a series (still the recommended option for a number of reasons though there was a dalliance for a time with not using them), how you handle your headlines and titles in ad copy and other documents (capping ALL words in titles that are 4+ letters is the recommended rather than using the 5+ alternative as this lets you cap “with” and “from” and similar words that would normally be LC based on the part of speech. Looks better and flows better! This nitty-gritty stuff may seem unimportant to some, but it actually helps ensure a more-positive impression and helps streamline things even when working on a deadline. I definitely feel that in ad copy and other circumstances there are some times when certain rules can be relaxed, but others done for the sake of “design” actually look like mistakes, such as leaving out an apostrophe in the name of a business that is clearly supposed to be possessive, such as Richards Bistro instead of Richard’s… please don’t let your designer convince you that it looks better without… it just looks wrong. Sorry! We’re really here to help you look your best, and mistakes or wondering if something is a mistake resonates with a surprisingly large number of your readers and prospects–more than you think! : – ) Ciao for now!

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