RE: "Break Grammar Rules on Websites for Clarity"

Subject: RE: "Break Grammar Rules on Websites for Clarity"
From: Andrew Warren <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>
To: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>, "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2014 17:44:26 +0000

Cardimon, Craig [ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com] wrote:

> http://www.nngroup.com/articles/break-grammar-rules/
>
> What do you folks think about this?

Meh. It's written by someone who knows good writing when she sees it, but doesn't know enough about writing to explain WHY it's good.

Her three tips are:

1. Use sentence fragments to punch up your writing.
2. You don't have to spell out small numbers.
3. It's ok to write one-sentence paragraphs.

And that's fine, but a) it's not a lot of advice, b) the best tip is buried at #3, c) the examples she gives are poor, and d) characterizing all three tips as "breaking grammar rules" is just wrong.

I think she would have written a better article if she'd concentrated on the idea that the old style guides like Chicago and AP -- let alone the writing guidelines you were taught when you were eight years old -- don't necessarily apply to writing for the Web, especially if what you're writing is advertising or marketing copy.

And if she really wanted to show how to write successfully for the Web, she would have demonstrated by calling her piece "The 3 Grammar Rules You MUST Break Today", "You Won't Believe The Rules These Young Web Entrepreneurs Are Breaking", or "The Rules Your Favorite Websites Are Violating Will Astonish You".

-Andrew
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"Break Grammar Rules on Websites for Clarity": From: Cardimon, Craig

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