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Do you catch yourself writing in “text speak” when dashing off a note to your child’s teacher? Do you think “thru” and “enuf” are real words?
It is true that WAHM’s these days must be hip enough to speak the lingo of the social media world we live in. Yet, as an English professor, I have noticed a worrisome trend in smart, savvy WAHM’s writing. Reverting to punctuation-free, capitalization-free and acronym-ridden writing can wound your good business reputations if you use them in the wrong situations.
Vigilance to what your English teachers taught back in the day is still a must: audience & purpose rule the day…always. If you don’t keep your target audience & reason for writing in mind, you stand to lose your reputation as a professional, along with clients and bucks!
Commas, Periods and Semicolons, Oh, My!
Even though we don’t use much, if any, punctuation on social media and in texts, it is still an important part of getting your meaning across to your audience. Whether you are writing a cold call letter to a potential client or typing up your latest blog post, using correct punctuation makes your meaning translate more clearly to your reader.
Capitalization…It’s Still a Real Thing
It’s like we have forgotten capitalization rules since we seldom use them. But they still apply, even if you can’t locate the shift key on your new i-phone.
Spelling Shortcuts Cut Your Meaning
Want to know a great way to lose your audience? Use acronyms that they don’t understand. Making your audience feel like old fogies doesn’t sell anything, and makes us look unprofessional.
Complete Sentences, Please
Maybe I have just read too many poorly written college essays, but sentence fragments make me cranky! I personally refuse to purchase the products or services of a company who can’t be bothered to hire someone who can write a solid sentence for their ads! I figure, if a company doesn’t care enough to get the grammar right in their ads, how can I trust them to provide quality products or services?
So while it is important in this day & age to be in touch with tech-speak, it is nevertheless vital to our business (and checkbooks) to pay carefully attention to when it is appropriate to be hip & use shortcuts and when to demonstrate that we are true professionals.
Jacqueline Myers has been an educator for 20+ years. She is currently a college English professor who teaches composition and literature exclusively online, as well as a freelance writer. In addition, she recently started her own blog, Nitty-Gritty English: Tips, Tricks & Techniques for the UN-enthusiastic English Student, in an attempt to navigate even more college students through the messy world of college writing. Follow her at http://nittygrittyenglish.com to brush up on your writing skills!