The Cantankerous Grammarian: Bad Language Is Bad Business

When I was growing up, my parents regularly reminded me about using bad language. What they meant was that I should not swear, curse, or use profanity. Today, the term “bad language” means something else, at least to me. It means bad grammar, bad spelling, mispronunciation, failure to understand the meaning of words, and the like.

The use of bad language is bad for people in business. It hurts their image, their credibility, and who knows what else. In some cases, it actually makes people angry. Perhaps I am too sensitive about the proliferation of bad language. I seem to have a special kind of radar that instantly lights up a part of my brain when it see it or hear it.

On my last trip to visit my grandchildren, I had the occasion to wait several hours because my flight was delayed. Believe it or not, the delay didn’t bother me that much. What really got to me was having to listen to the incessant repetition of the phrase “We will begin boarding for Flight 437 “momentarily.” This term, as educated people know, means “for a moment” as opposed to “in a moment.” An example of  its correct use would be “He paused momentarily before entering the room.”

Another area that businesses fail get right is signage. Sign makers apparently do not have spell checkers. I guess that account for the myriad typos in business signage. Needless to say, the business itself doesn’t seem to care. Even more amazing is when the same information is spelled two different ways on the same property.

Stan is a graphic designer who blogs about things that bother him. He is dedicated to publicizing annoying behaviors, particularly matters grammatical, with the hope of ridding the world of them.