This week the Let’s Blog Off crew goes off on an interesting tangent – “In an era where everyone who’s anyone publishes content to the internet, the English language is being abused like never before. While it’s true that English is a remarkably adjustable tongue, there are some rules. We pride ourselves around here with our strict adherence to AP Style. Even that changes with alarming regularity. So it led us to the next Blog Off topic. What grammar offense strikes you as the worst? Which abrogation of the rules that govern our language rub you raw? How many variations on our communal language can you tolerate before you say enough?”
I have to admit, my grammar (and spelling sometimes) still leaves something to be desired so instead of pointing fingers, looking at straws or calling the kettle black, I want to address a prevalent thought that seemingly reeks throughout the trades. That thought happens to be, we are contractors and not writers or speakers. The most interesting one I heard lately was when someone basically called the presentation portion of SKILLS fluff.
As a business owner all I can simply say to that, is that fluff is what prevents many even getting a chance to be considered for a job, or later on getting a contract. In the past it was all about the written application or just driving up to a job site. Now-a-days written applications and just showing up on site are basically a thing of the past and have been replaced by emails, online forms, phone calls & now through social media.
With that in mind let me offer some quick advice;
- Don’t forget which medium you are on… Twitter & texting are great mediums but there format is completely inappropriate for emails, blogging, Facebook, forums, etc…
- Phone Calls – I know this is old school but letting someone know who you are up front & why you are calling not only makes a great impression but is a mark of respect for whom you are calling.
- Voice Mail – I really do hate leaving voicemails, but nothing drives me up a wall listening to this long message & you get to end only to hear the phone number whip by at the speed of light. Speak slowly & better yet state your number twice – once after your name at the beginning & then also at the end.
- There is no such thing as delete once you hit “enter” or “send” & what’s worse is unlike an application that one might shred, once you post it online it is out there for everyone to see especially on forums.
- Speaking of forums, why does it seem like the ones that seemingly have nothing but issues with their business are also the ones that have the least knowledge of (or care about) the written language. Does this mean that everything needs to be letter perfect? No, not in the least but if one can’t even bother running a spell checker or spending a few seconds trying to make something readable, is it any wonder about the results they get?
Of course on the issue of spell checkers…
Eye halve a spelling chequer two. It came with my pea sea.
It plainly marques four my revue miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word and weight four it two say.
Weather eye am wrong oar write. It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid, it nose bee fore two long.
And eye can put the error rite. It rarely ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it, I am shore your pleased two no.
Its letter perfect in it’s weigh. My chequer tolled me sew.
And now onto some real word smiths who not only have some pet peeves, but also some great lessons.