My client Kater Cheek blogged recently about poor punctuation in stores:
Today I was at a grocery store and they’ve made their labels print out a little tag at the bottom that says “Thank’s from Fry’s.” That one I couldn’t let go. I wrote them an email telling them that they ought to have their signage written by the educated, native English speakers on the staff, because bad grammar sends a negative impression. They’ll probably ignore it.
A lot of people do ignore bad grammar, but when you’re writing an email to a prospective agent, you really do need to pay attention.
Now, granted, I’m not sitting here as the grammar police, and I’m sure I use words incorrectly at times. I frequently mispronounce words in conversation that I’ve only ever seen read and not heard, and Rexroth often finds himself correcting me. (Thanks, sweetie!) But that’s among friends and loved ones. Do you want a typo on your resume? No, of course not. And you don’t want it on your query, either.
Give your query a meticulous going-over before you send it — if you can, have a impartial friend take a glance as well. Make sure you’re not substituting “you’re” for “your” or “there” for “their” or any of a million other small mistakes a spell check won’t catch.
And for those of you who’ve done the whole Grammar Police thing, tell me: what are your punctuation pet peeves?