putting the FAN in evangelism – spreading your messages by daring to share what you are a FAN of
What do you thing about “basic mistakes” in business writing?
More importantly, what are your clients/customers likely to thing about “basic mistakes”?
Did you still understand what I meant – even with the thing/think mistake?
Did you judge me harshly for this mistake or did you just “move on” without any distraction?
As a business writing coach and trainer – I’ve been witnessing first-hand an interesting shift in attitude towards ” basic mistakes” in business writing.
The think is: “mistakes” such as thing/think slip threw/through.
Spell check will knot pick up words that are proper words (just not the correct words for the sentence they are used in).
Spell check is not enough!
In training sessions, I’ve had younger writers (super-smart, young financial writers) argue that:
1. they didn’t worry about “basic” mistakes. They thought the course content section on correcting “basic” mistakes was too basic for them – things such as basic word confusion (whether/weather, bare/bear)
2. their audience would understand what they meant
3. they were too busy to worry about minor mistakes
4. their business was “numbers” not words.
Do they have a point? Please share in the comments section below.
As a word nerd, I’m the sort of person who DOES care about getting the words right – but I’m open to “move with changes”.
English is an evolving language. Business Writing and what is considered professional and efficient is changing at a rapid pace
After I took a “calming breath” to the above “push back” about basic writing mistakes, I:
1. pointed out “basic mistakes” prominently displayed on their website
2. encouraged the younger business writers to think that even if they didn’t care – their audience (their customers and clients) was from a generation that probably DID care about basic writing mistakes and word confusion.
From my experience – it’s not that younger writers are not smart – they just have other priorities with there work. (That last mistake was also deliberate to see if you noticed or cared!)
What has been your experience?
Have you noticed that younger writers seem to be less concerned about “basic mistakes”?
Is it now too “old fashioned” to worry about “basic mistakes”?
I’m open to suggestions on what is most important in business writing these days. Please share your views in the comments section below.
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These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing, effective e-mail, e-mail overload, cross-cultural communication etc. I like to help people COPE.