So what do you think when you see the advert below? It made me drop my toast on Monday morning. I’m sure everyone would agree that when you present your business on the back of some sumptuously incorrect grammar or punctuation, you do your professional image no favours at all. Even people like Stephen Fry, who calls grammatical pedantry “a silly approach to language”, wouldn’t suggest you don’t learn the basic rules and proof-read your output thoroughly. But if I’m after some data, and it’s not presented well, do I care, so long as I find it?
There are many occasions where I see a terrible English translation on a foreign website, but as long as the information is unambiguous, it doesn’t make me question the manufacturing competence of the originator. (As an aside, it does make me wonder how bad the foreign translations are on English websites; you do use a native speaker to do your translations, don’t you?). So I guess the important thing is just getting the information out there in the first place. However, it doesn’t do any harm to have a system whereby nothing goes out of the door unless it’s been proof-read and signed-off by someone other than the originator.
Jackie – would you give this a quick proof-read for me? Thanks Chris