Are humans having an impact on global warming?
Are violent videos games impacting our gun culture in the U.S.?
What’s to blame for the massive opioid problem in our country?
Do you use an Oxford comma or not?
These are the great debates facing our society in 2017.
Take a peek at this article from a site called “The Write Life”.
Check out the number of comments on this post. Might not seem like a lot, but for a post about Oxford-freaking-commas, that’s a crap-ton.
And, it’s not the first time. Anecdotally, every time I see a colleague or friend in the PR/comms business post about the vaunted Oxford comma debate, the post has a laundry list of people chiming in.
You might say “Who cares?” You might think this is inconsequential.
But, I think it might be a sign of where the PR industry stands in 2017.
For starters, this topic seems to fire up most PR people far more than it probably should. Don’t we have bigger things to worry about? We’re really going to get this upset about A COMMA? The “outrage” has always felt disproportionate to the issue at hand.
This may be contributing to why PR isn’t taken seriously. We’re talking about a comma, people. I’m all for the devil-is-in-the-details-type approach. I get that words and grammar matter. But, if we want a seat at the big table, we need to act like we belong there.
We can’t get caught up in debates about commas. It makes us look like we’re focused on tactics. It minimizes what we truly offer. We need to think bigger. We need to ACT bigger.
I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this–but I think it’s high time to just give up this whole debate.
The future of our industry may well depend on it.