Famed linguistics professor John McWhorter recently delivered a TED talk about the evolution of texting into a form of spoken language. But rather than decry this seemingly unsettling development, McWhorter defended “fingered speech” by saying, “It’s easy to think it represents some sort of decline. We think something has gone wrong, but what is going on is a kind of emergent complexity.”
Although he makes a compelling case (McWhorter has long advocated loosening the formal rules governing language and writing), I’m not convinced. As a proponent of learning the rules before breaking them, count me among the scolds who believe our text and hashtag-obsessed generation will lead to subsequent generations who are unable to form coherent sentences, paragraphs and ideas.
But I digress.
More importantly, you shouldn’t buy into his thinking just yet. Imagine receiving an advertisement, flyer or survey riddled with spelling and grammatical mistakes — would you take that company seriously? Trust is built by getting even the smallest details right. As such, SoGoSurvey encourages you to learn and implement best practices.
While best practices entail avoiding survey fatigue, branding your surveys and maintaining data integrity, it also means spell checking your surveys, avoiding grammatical mistakes and ensuring readability.
SoGoSurvey allows you to send Test Invites to people you trust. By subjecting your surveys to a rigorous editorial process, you’ll avoid mistakes that might erode participant loyalty and trust.
Maybe one day we’ll live in a society where the formal rules governing language and writing have disappeared. But until then, continue to implement best practices.