Friday, June 29, 2012

Getting It Write

One of the things that I formerly considered to be among my professional values, is slowly migrating onto my list of things that make me seem like a caveman (or at least like a geezer*).  Namely, I think that reasonably good grammar is an important component of professional correspondence.

We are all aware of, and probably occasionally guilty of, the acronym-filled shorthand of the text, Twitter, and Facebook worlds.  There is certainly a place today for that type of communication.

For example, if you see Chad and Taylor making out behind the bleachers, you should immediately text an OMG! to your BFF's.  Under such alarming circumstances, everyone would agree that taking the time to type a salutation, or any punctuation other than an exclamation point, would be a disservice to those who need to know such things ASAP.

However, in the drudgery of "participating in the world's economic welfare", also known as "responsibly holding down a job", matters are rarely as urgent or important as the Junior High tryst I cited above.  I still believe that professionals usually have the time to construct complete, unambiguous, messages to one another.

Alas, I see that the "new normal" of text shorthand is slowly and successfully gaining acceptance among decision makers in the workplace. This recent article from the Wall Street Journal makes the sad point that my commitment to grammar is increasingly a sign of yesterday's work ethic.  It's really just a numbers game, and when those who do not value grammar begin to out-number (and/or out-rank) those who do, I will officially wear the scarlet "C" of curmudgeonry.

* Alert readers who recall my post on "geezerdom" will know that earning this label is not a personal tragedy for me.

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