Spelling and grammar– where does it fall in the priority list?

Uncategorized Posted Aug 14, 2013 by Kayla Krause

We’ve all done it before. We misspell or use the wrong version of the word and publish it online, whether it’s in a tweet, in a Facebook post, or do I even dare say LinkedIn! We’re all guilty of it. Now what about online articles, blogs and company websites – do we let it happen here too? Are we becoming too laxidasical about spelling and grammar these days?

alphabet-987821-mOne of the first things I learned about the professional world is that you should always use proper writing etiquette. Whether it’s an email, letter or blog on your company’s website, spelling and grammar demonstrates intelligence and professionalism. However, as the world is grasping a hold of this whirlwind that we call social media, it seems like this proper use of grammar is being thrown to the wayside.

I’m not going to point out specific instances, but I’ve certainly seen a few articles with misspelled words or the wrong use of the word, you know what I’m talking about you “you’re” and “your” people. Sometimes it’s an honest to gosh mistake…but that’s what we have those red, green and blue squiggly lines for – editing. It is completely understandable to be “rushed,” to want to get the news out first, to meet your deadline, etc. However, what happened to that last sanity check? Or are we just trying to keep up with the fast-paced world we live in today?

I’ll admit it. I’ve even done it with an email before. Sometimes I’ll go through and edit an email and take a word or two out. After sending it, I’ll reread the email and notice that sentence doesn’t seem quite right. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve gotten emails with lingo I don’t even understand – that has too many acronyms or short-hand phrases or unfinished sentences. The best is when you get the “text message” versions, “TTYS”, or my all-time favorite, “K.” There’s just something about it that’s not so professional. Now if this is a co-worker or a close client of yours, it’s more accepting. My question is, are we becoming so used to texting and posting short tweets online that it has translated to our emails?

Maybe it’s a mixture of the two – we’re trying to adapt to being “in-the-know” 24/7 and staying up to date with every breaking news alert and Facebook notification that might be worthy of re-posting, writing about or sending to a client. In doing so, when we try to share this information as quickly as possible, we are becoming less worrisome of how it looks – as long as it gets out on the wire or to the person, it doesn’t matter…

Have we lost proper writing etiquette? It can be argued both ways – some people make it a priority to use the correct spelling and grammar even when writing an email, some people find that as a secondary tool they deem not as important as the news/message itself.  So, are we living in the world of acronyms and shortened 140-character phrases? Maybe some of us are, or maybe all of us will eventually. Anyways, TTYS!