Second Impression-Lingusitic Transgressions 2
As promised this is the second in a series entitled Linguistic Transgressions. I’ve been loathed to take on this particular subject matter but nonetheless it calls me to weigh in. Since much of our communication is transmitted via technology devices, it has been increasingly evident as to how poorly we write in our native language. I am addressing my comment here within to those whose first or native language is English or for those who have mastered that level of proficiency.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS
There is absolutely no excuse for not re-reading a business email before hitting the send button especially if it’s addressed to someone with whom you wish to leave a good impression. Initially look for blaring typos and then read it for grammar, clarity and content.
Typos are unavoidable but are an easy fix (spellchecker, etc.). Just do it.
Scanning for grammatical flubs may have you doing some quick research if you’re not sure what the correct fix is but there are plenty of websites to help you to state your point in good form. This subject certainly warrants far more elaboration but for now this will have to suffice.
Clarity - Did you really want to say that? Is there any confusion in what you mean? Re-read your piece posing yourself as the reader instead of the author and see if it is crystal clear to you or are there any awkwardly constructed sentences.
Content – Only you know what you want to say so just say it and get to the point succinctly and thoroughly so that the reader gets it.
Disclaimer: I’m only speaking to those engaged in a business texting communique. I realize that there is an entire population (growing exponentially by the nanosecond) on this planet that conducts their entire human engagement on a smart phone. I’m not speaking to them. I’m only addressing those engaged in a business texting communique.
Don’t introduce your self to someone initially by text. Call and leave a voice mail. Address the person by name and identify yourself as well; don’t assume that they have you listed in their contacts and don’t get insulted if they in fact – don’t. Keep your message short and to the point. Even though your device may allow 140 characters, you don’t have to use them all. Remember this is simply a means by which to communicate pertinent information, not an entire conversation. A pet peeve of mine (I know you’re surprised that I have those) is this disclaimer on text messages and emails sent from mobile devices asking for forgiveness on typos. What’s next – forgiveness on poor grammar?
I’m just getting warmed up here!
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