Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Oh the misteaks we've scene! (Please tell me you see the mistakes in that prior sentence!) I'm not certain whether it's the texting generation or pure laziness, but the mistakes I see in the daily missives I receive make me cringe -- especially when they come from #womenofdistinction for whom I have great respect.
Here are five mistakes you should be aware of and eradicate from your writing:
- You type and then simply hit, "send." Whoops, did you even give your email a once-over? If you haven't had enough coffee before you hit reply all you may be sending along a mistake you had never intended to send and once it's gone you can't get it back! Never send a message before you re-read it. An editorial tip I learned from my time at the newspaper is to read your item from the bottom up -- that way your mind will not be filling in the blanks and you won't skim over a mistake.
- Be real in your writing. If you wouldn't normally toss around $10 words, then don't do it in your writing. Your recipient will not be impressed and will likely wonder if someone else is writing your messages for you. Of course, if you are talking about a technical issue and need to use industry jargon, go right ahead, but offer an explanation if necessary to the jargon. Your recient shouldn't have to run to the dictionary to decipher the message.
- They're are to many mistakes being made by people in are industry who simply use the wrong homonym. If you're not certain which is the correct one, then please ask someone which "they're, their or there" you should use. Hopefully you caught the mistakes in the first sentence of this bullet.
- Tell me what you really mean. If, for example, you read one of my blog posts and like it, say so. If you say, "it was nice" I don't know what that means. Was it informative? Enlightening? Hilarious? Or are you saying "nice" in a sarcastic way that I just can't feel in the email message?
- Don't back into your sentences. This is something I learned from my years of writing fiction. I also learned when I wrote fiction that I didn't just say what I meant. I had a build up of unnecessary information to get to the point. "Starbucks has great coffee. Sue and I went there for coffee the other day." What?! How about, "Sue and I wanted a great cup of coffee so we went to Starbucks." -- short, sweet and to the point. (obviously it doesn't have to be Starbucks, but it does need to be clear)
What errors do you see in the emails you receive, or what errors have you been guilty of? We'd love to know!