There’s a growing trend in online communications, and I – for one – am not too thrilled. With increased aggression and startling frequency, quotients of the brands on Facebook are lowering their standards of communication. You know the type. They use words like ginormous and irregardless, both of which have become so pervasive in the American lexicon that they’ve been entered into the ranks of reverence on Dictionary.com (somewhere, another Wordsmith of some repute is rolling over in his grave, but doing it with a wink and a smile). These are the same folks that start every sentence with “Actually”, or “I feel like…” and in the spoken word utter every statement with a sickly sweet sense of mild, bland surprise, and a frequently falling intonation (“Oh, really? No kidding.) They have seemingly no regard for the fact that an exclamation point is meant to do just that – exclaim. If you can’t express the sentiment with language, then using !!!!! as a crutch is not an acceptable workaround.
These grammatical slights are not creative. They are examples of lazy, uncreative people expressing themselves in lazy, uncreative ways. Like telling an old joke over and over again to the same person, what once was impactful for its uniqueness has become ineffectual by way of ubiquity.
As a brand – you stand for something. You have some concept that you are – or desire to be – tied to, and your messaging reflects it. Google is synonymous with search, in the common vernacular. Mercedes’ name evokes images of luxury, and quality. Harvard and Yale make you think of the best and brightest minds. Victoria’s Secret is sexy. One thing these brands share is a consistency in their messaging. They know their audience – broad or narrow – and they know how to talk to them, but not down to them.
You want to stand apart on Facebook? Stay true to your core message. Know who you are. Know who you want to be seen, as. Ensure that your status updates, wall posts, comments, and photo captions reflect this. Be true to the message you want to convey, and do it in a genuine manner. Own your voice.
I’m all for the creative use and application of language in order to communicate your point. In fact, without a certain irreverence and spontaneity, we’d be stuck with a decidedly restrictive set of words with which to conduct our affairs. Get creative; spread your word, and spread it your way. Toss out the rules that hold back the more artful aspects of your expression. Poetry pwns pedantry, every time.