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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Starting a new focused blog on content, both grammar and publishing

I've been working in the corporate world for over 35 years and have witnessed the steady decline of grammar in the workplace during that time. One could blame this on the internationalization of business and the fact that many people learned English as a second language. This is incorrect in my experience: many people in India have better English grammar and a wider vocabulary than native English-speakers in the United States.

People at Adobe knew me as very critical on grammar, as I believe that poor grammar and spelling reflects a negative perception of one's intelligence and product quality. But I also believe that grammar and spelling are easy to fix if one is willing to learn and to subject your content to review and a proofreader. I ran a short wiki page inside Adobe with my favorite spelling issues, especially misplaced hyphens. I'm now taking issues that I see in public content (corporate response emails, web pages, or presentations) and pointing them out so that we all can learn.

I will not use personal emails or social media, as that betrays a fundamental trust; they are also not channels where people give scrutiny to their content. Wikis are fair game, although I will always comment on the wiki itself or change it if I can.

I hope that you enjoy these and we all can learn from these examples. And DO point out when I make errors: I know I am not perfect and have much to learn. My son, a journalist, points out my errors frquently and I am always grateful.

P.S. The title of the blog should be said the same way that you would scold a dog when you say "bad dog."