grAmrr & Cumyunikashun

I have to admit, I never liked to study Grammar when I was in school.  Usually, when the teacher would say something like, “today we are going to study parenthetical clauses” my eyelids would get heavy and my mouth would start to involuntarily drool.

However, as I surf my way through the information superhighway, I’m surprised to learn how advanced I am in comparison to the average blogger, RSSer, tweeter and commentators out there.  For example, here was a comment to one of my recent blog posts:

“Just wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity on your put up is simply spectacular and that i could think you’re knowledgeable in this subject. Fine together with your permission allow me to seize your RSS feed to keep updated with coming near near post. Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.”

Ouch!  Or:

“Unquestionably believe that that you stated. Your favourite justification seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to consider of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while other folks consider concerns that they plainly do not recognise about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , other people could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thanks”

The judge gives a life sentence for mercilessly hacking up the English language with a plastic spork (an eating utensil that combines a spoon and a fork into one device).

To be fair, these posters are probably not native English speakers.  As such, I give them the benefit of the doubt.  God knows my syntax is horrible whenever I try to spew out my limited vocabulary of Spanish, German or Turkish.

What’s perhaps even more annoying are the mistakes and just plain laziness of the average texter, tweeter and other internet and phone denizens out there.  Especially those who post in a professional capacity.  There is a concept called proofreading that I highly recommend, especially if you’re looking for me to take you seriously or otherwise view your argument in a positive light.

The bottom line is, people judge you based on how you present yourself.  In person, this includes your appearance, body language, etc.  Once they have a first impression of you based on your appearance, your communication skills (or lack thereof) will solidify their overall opinion of you.  If you sound like you can’t be bothered to pronounce your words correctly, observe at least basic grammar and speak in a clear, confident tone; people will have a negative opinion of you.

With online media, your appearance is often left out of the equation.  At best, people will have access to your profile picture.  That said, if you are writing in a professional forum or on a professional topic, make sure your profile picture isn’t the one with you and your 2 best friends in the middle of a 15-tequila-shot binge (or the morning after).  Also, when you are referring people to your online profile, website, Facebook or other sites, make sure those sites are free of negative imagery.  Create separate pages or profiles if you have to.

Keep in mind also that because your online posts, tweets, comments and blogs are devoid of body language, voice tone and other communication nuances, you must be that much clearer in your intention.  For example, not everyone reading this post may recognize my attempt at humor in response to the quoted blog comments above.  Sarcasm is notoriously tricky to communicate via only the written word.  Unless you are very sure that your audience will understand your style, humor, etc., keep those elements to a minimum.

And finally, proofread, proofread, proofread!!!  If you’re language skills aren’t that of an English major, don’t try to be fancy.  Say what you mean as clearly and concisely as possible.  Make sure there are no speeling or grammatical errors (yes, I intentionally misspelled ‘spelling’ to prove my point).  That’s what a spellcheck was created for.  And if you’re writing an emotional response to something, take a few minutes to calm down and reread your comments before you hit send.

Good luck and good writing! (I hope I didn’t overdo it on the parenthetical clauses)

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Posted on September 21, 2012, in Business, Communication, Computer, Marketing, Promotion, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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