It’s A Colon Not A Comma – Spelling And Grammar Still Matter

November 1, 2015

Did you know it’s a colon not a comma after the salutation on a business letter or email?  I did.  The colon is one of those things that I read somewhere at some time and always used it even when others told me it should be a comma. The point is, that spelling and grammar still matter even in our age of tweeting and texting.   It is very easy to check our spelling and grammar these days.  Spellcheck and Grammar check in Word are good but not inclusive.  Remember that spellcheck will not help you for words that are spelled right but used in the wrong context.  I often use the Grammar check and then go further to make sure I’ve structured my sentence correctly.  Do I take liberties with grammar sometimes?  You bet and that’s okay when I’m writing my blog and certainly if I am tweeting or texting.


I write this today because I was the one who neglected to catch an error in an email that went out via LinkedIn to many of my Connections. The mistake was in the subject line and the word “fee” was written instead of the correct word “free.”  The offer was for my e-book, 7 Strategic Techniques to Gain Clients from LinkedIn.  If anyone but my assistant and I noticed they didn’t indicate that they did but it bothered the two of us for days.  Why, because spelling and grammar still matter.  It is important to use the correct words, the correct grammar and of course, spell words properly.  For anyone reading this that did get the LinkedIn message, we apologize.


Here’s another example, I was at a local high school on Saturday morning for a high school Rotary/Interact Conference and a banner was hanging from the ceiling for all the upcoming graduation years.  One of the banners stated, ” You wouldn’t have nothing if you didn’t have the….” That is not proper grammar and, unfortunately, it is hanging in one of our high schools here in Las Vegas.  Did anyone notice this error in grammar?  Grammar matters and it should be taught correctly.


We do so much communicating on our smartphones; tweeting, texting, emailing, Facebook posts, LinkedIn messages, and more. It is important to remember which communication platform you are using and whom (I did Google who or whom) you are writing to.  Have you ever started sending a business reply email on your phone and realize you wrote “ur” for your?  I know I have.  How many times have you seen the word “your” substituted for the correct “you’re”? That one really bugs me because it seems so prevalent and even in professional correspondence, people seem too lazy to use the proper “you’re” these days.  In a business setting, grammar still matters so be cognizant of that.  I would even suggest that you use proper spelling and grammar as much as possible on Facebook.  After all, you are giving an impression of yourself when you Post and Comment especially on your Facebook business page.


To sum things up, I want to encourage you to proofread.  The best way is to read backward so that you catch errors and most importantly, have someone else proofread it.  Be careful with professional emails and make sure you are particularly aware when answering them from your smartphone. Tweeting and texting are communication vehicles that give us license to use what “in the old days” would have been shorthand.


When you’re stuck and not sure, go to our good friend Google and ask the question.  I can never seem to remember which to use “affect” or “effect” and so I ask Google when in doubt.


This article was originally published here.

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