Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Conjunction Junction, What's Your Function?

Back in the day when Saturday morning cartoons were on every network station (the only stations we had when I was a kid), there were some really cool segments that ABC produced called Schoolhouse Rock. They were catchy little tunes buried within short cartoons to teach us everything from grammar to math to science to history. The only way I ever memorized the preamble to the Constitution was by singing to the jingle I learned on Saturday mornings.

As a marketing professional working in technology publishing, what I learned on Saturday mornings is valuable to me today. We deploy thousands of emails per week and they go through testing...and more testing....and more testing...before they hit an inbox for public consumption. We have multiple sets of eyes proof every email to assure that our readers get a version minus typos and blatant grammatical errors.

Another part of my complex job includes research. I read a lot. I'm subscribed to tons of e-newsletters myself that direct me to the latest scoop in the media world, the technology world, and the internet world. What I've discovered as I read all this copy on a daily basis is how lazy most editors are getting at other sites. A day doesn't go by that I don't read an article online that has a typo. Granted, I'm sure some of our content isn't perfect either, but it's sad to think that all of this information overload is causing us to lose our commitment to strong spelling and grammar. We already shorthand our way through instant messages and text messages using acronym lingo like LOL or b4 to save keystrokes. Maybe our world could use a good dose of Schoolhouse Rock again...

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