The other day, my friend messaged me a photo of her newborn baby. Underneath the adorable image, the caption detailed his name (including two middle ones), his weight (in pounds and ounces) and the exact time of his arrival (a bright and early 3.37 am).
These specifics – which so often accompany an announcement like this– made me think about the role that accuracy plays in our lives: from cherishing big milestones like baby news to literally tracking the miles (or even steps) on our smartwatch.
We value precision for practical reasons, of course. We refer to a train as ‘the 8.24’ – and are naturally disappointed if it rolls in at 8.31.
And then what if we’re standing on the platform without an umbrella because the weather app mistakenly predicted a 12% chance of precipitation? We potentially miss our connection and arrive at our destination late and bedraggled.
Accuracy is so much a part of our everyday lives that we usually take it for granted. We tend to notice it more if it falls apart – if the train is late; if the song is flat; if the restaurant has overcharged us, or if it has accidentally given us a bottle of red worth £4,500 (here’s hoping!).
It only follows that we would view text the same way. We simply expect it to be accurate – and are quick to notice when it isn’t. Mistakes can distract us and take us away from the real meaning behind the words; just a few errors can result in a missed connection between reader and writer.
Attention to detail also denotes a certain pride in the work. So, whatever you’re putting out into the world – whether it’s a 649-page manuscript or a 6-word tagline – accuracy helps you to communicate more clearly. And it helps you to communicate that you care.
Tell us why #AccuracyMatters to you @accuracymatters.