I read a fantastic ‘life hack’ on social media the other day. It claimed:
“Want to earn money? Simply plaster a sticker asking ‘how’s my driving?’ on your car bumper, then set up a premium rate phone line number to add to said sticker, before ragging your car around town like an absolute nutcase. Simply watch the cash roll in as people ring the phone off the hook to complain…”
Obviously, that post was published in jest, and it certainly gave me a laugh (as well as the temptation to earn a few extra quid seeing as I’m a terrible driver anyway). However, it also gave me an idea. I started thinking about casually dropping grammatical errors and spelling mistakes into my website, purely so that it would lure traffic to the site, as fellow grammar geeks would swoop on the offending words and feast upon the decay of the sentence structure within its pages. I quickly decided against this idea though as it is, in fact, ridiculous.
All publicity is good publicity though, yes? I can never really commit to being absolutely sure who first uttered this phrase, much as I adore to study the English Language, but I can only imagine it was an ancestor of the Kardashians.
An error on my website page, or on that of any organisation offering a similar service, would be both mortifying and unforgivable. However, I find it to be equally as unforgivable when I see mistakes, errors or oversights of the language variety on any website or piece of promotional material, regardless of their provision. Small or independent companies, I can understand. Big hitters and market leaders? I absolutely relish their mistakes – and believe me they make them! You’ll start to see some of them on my blog, as I happily name and shame them.
Yes, this attention adds to their publicity, whether they need it or not, but if you’re like me, it stirs up doubt: If they can’t even be bothered to have a quick proofread of a sentence or two, despite paying a lot of money out of their marketing budget to cover this, how can you be sure they’re paying full and proper attention to you as their customer…?
Trust me, it’ll get to you.