Our Best Foot Forward

This blog post was in response to a MasterKoda members lament.  I paraphrase:  “Am I really seeing that many spelling, grammatical errors lately?”

I’m not a professional writer/author yet, but I too have noticed that increasingly it’s alright to use poor grammar, poor spelling, and forget punctuation.  Why?  Blame it all on texting and social platforms like Twitter.

With texting, one strives to get one’s message out while being as brief as possible.  After all, one must consider ones texting plan.  If you have an unlimited plan, it’s okay to text the Declaration Of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.  If not, brevity is the best and only choice.  Of course, you know, this means you leave out letters.  

Some examples are:

ppl instead of people
abt instead of about
the number 2 for the word two
the number 4 for the word four or for
U for the word You
Ur for the word You Are (You’re)
SMH for Shaking My Head
TY for Thank You  
LOL for Laughing Out Loud
LMBO instead of laughing My Butt Off
NOTE:  There is a more vulgar version of the above phrase which I shall not post. . . . . . .

This is practice is especially applicable on Twitter where one is only given 140 letters in which to express your thought, often with links attached.  Twitter Tip: If one REALLY has a lengthy opinion to share on Twitter, the best way to do it is to start a free blog (via Word Press or Blogger) write up a post, then post the link to your status on Twitter.  This directs you readers to the blog for further information. 

On FaceBook I’m not so strict about spelling and grammar.   I say this in light of the fact that many may be out and about, and using their I-phone, I-pads, Android phones.  These items are not exactly easy to type on in unsecure situations.  Add riding the bus, train, or driving to the mix.  Talk about a multi-tasking nightmare.  So I expect, booboos and errors on FaceBook.  

However, if one is a real stickler for details, there is an extension app by Google Chrome called Social Fixer for Facebook.  Among many of the neat gadgets Social Fixer has a realtime Facebook spellcheck. However, this app only works for PCs and laptops.  And I believe Google Chrome must be your browser for this to work also.   

In the professional field or at work and/or if one is a writer or author, there is no excuse for errors.    

I’ve noticed that at work I’ve found that I must correct the basics like an English/Grammar teacher in order to do my job.  This should not be.  Workplaces equipped with computers,  and these computers in turn are equipped with spellcheck.  Why not use it?

As for blogs, your blog is an extension of you.  People who read it are reading it to get some kind of insight on who you are.  Yes, they may be reading your recipes, and how to knit a cardigan sweater, but you are the underlying force behind said blog.  It represents you.  If you want to generate customers and readers, like a job interview, you want to leave them with the best impression possible!  You want them to keep coming back, good content and attention to spelling grammar is essential.

So, before posting a blog post one should definitely employ a spell and grammar check program.  Run it through TWICE, just to make sure.  Believe it or not, spell checkers screw up too. . . . .

Lastly, I believe we as writers always need to brush up on and hone our art.  A soldier always keeps his weapons clean and in prime condition, and loaded for bear.  So should we.  

There are plenty of FREE INTERNET writing,  grammar, and editing courses one can take to brush up.  All one needs is an hour or so a day on the computer.  If it means one hour less on Twitter, or FaceBook, so be it! You’ve got a mission to accomplish, so arm up!

Write On!  

                                   TUXEDO CAT


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