I’m a bit OCD about many things. Every day before I leave work I have to position my keyboard and mouse just so… My dual computer monitors can’t be on different levels… In fact I find it hard to work in a cluttered environment. I have to clean my office (room) every time I get ready to start a major project. I also really like for things to be symmetrical.
When people break the few basic rules that I am aware of in the English language, I can hardly stand it. Especially rules that should be understood by everyone who speaks or writes English.
Here are a couple of the ones that bother me particularly badly.
Let’s begin with one of the most egregious. There seems to be a movement towards not using capitalization for basic things. Things like the beginning of sentences or within titles, titles of books, names of people and titles of blog posts.
Not using caps is very unprofessional.
failing to use capitalization is simply ridiculous. it makes it much more difficult to know when one sentence begins and the previous one ends. there is no reason that capitalizing words should be difficult, especially if you are typing on a phone or keyboard. just hit the shift key from time to time. i promise it won’t hurt you.
Please use capital letters where they are supposed to be used, it’s just silly not to.
Punctuate Your Words
This really, really bothers me, and again it’s a pretty simple thing. Using simple punctuation makes the words you write much, much easier to read.
For instance if you fail to use the common period at the end of sentences or commas in the middle of sentences where there should be natural breaks that should be added as we read the difference is incredible but perhaps the biggest change is noticeable when you fail to use these basic pieces of punctuation at all and refuse to finish your sentences
Punctuation was made to make your words easier to read and follow. Please use these helpful little marks to at least 20% of their capability.
Just Read it First
The third and final thing that bothers me (for this post) is when I get an email that is not put together well. Organization and clarity are, I believe, the simplest things that can turn an average communicator into a much better one. Misspelled words in an otherwise well written piece makes a person look like an amateur who simply doesn’t care.
Many times the simple act of rereading an email, or text message, or blog post before sending it, or publishing it, can substantially up your game and help you communicate more effectively.
Acknowledgement of Personal Shortcomings
Now… There is something that you should know. I’m not the best grammatical writer or most precise punctuation person. I use the “three periods” far too often… I’m also pretty sure that there are some errors in this post.
I still read things after sending them or posting them and realize dumb mistakes I made. For a long time I really struggled with words like there and their and were and where…
English is hard, but doing sloppy things because it seems easier is not a good enough reason to write sloppily.
It isn’t about being a perfect communicator. It’s about not being a silly communicator. It’s about giving your readers the best chance of understanding what you are trying to say.
If anything you are trying to write is worth writing (or reading) it is worth taking some time to do your best.
::Note:: The image attached to this post has nothing to do with the post content… but it’s one I took recently, and I liked it.