What is going on with the English language today?
Sorry co-workers, but I’m hearing the wrong there, we’re, to, etc in all the wrong contexts on a daily basis. Don’t even get me started on the punctuation or lack thereof.
“Lets put they’re website live.”
“We’re you planning to eat that?”
“I thought that to.”
I’m pretty sure we all went to school, where we had to learn English. My generation then went through the period where you had to pay more for long text messages. We went through the “RU OK”, “2b or not 2b” and “can’t wait 2CU” phase. (Luckily, those dark times are over now.)
Ok, I forgive my colleagues for the quick spelling and punctuation mistakes in our internal chats, but lately, I’ve seen it sneak into important documents and client emails. We can’t let the clients see! That said, some clients are definitely culprits, too. You know who you are!
The first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem.
After that, here are some helpful tips:
- When you pay me out, don’t write “Your an idiot”. Rookie mistake, there. If you’re not confident with your apostrophes, go with the safe option of “You are an idiot”. You cannot go wrong.
- Read your sentences aloud after you write them and don’t forget to breathe every time you see a comma or full stop and make sure you separate different points into their own sentence or a different paragraph.
- Take a moment to read what you’ve written before you send it. If it doesn’t make sense to you, it’s probably wrong, and won’t make sense to the reader either.
- Ask a colleague to read emails before you send them, especially the important ones.
- Download Grammarly. We all make mistakes. Let a program fix them.
It may sound silly, but little mistakes scattered throughout your emails can really impact on someone’s perception of you. Nobody’s perfect. I make mistakes, too. Good impressions over email are especially important in the digital realm, where a lot of the communication throughout a project will be done that way.
Let’s keep correct English alive!