No, I Won’t Excuse Your Typos

You’ve gotten them, too. Those e-mail missives and text messages with typos and autocorrects that create unintended consequences — sometimes hilarious, sometimes ribald, sometimes highly inappropriate in a business context.

In an effort to excuse themselves, some writers include a bit of text along the lines of, “Please pardon misspellings. Sent from my mobile device.”

Sorry. That’s not good enough. If senders really cared about what they had to say and, more to the point, cared about the recipients, they would proofread before sending. And I don’t mean a cursory review. It’s advisable to be like Santa — make a list (or, in this case, an e-mail) and check it twice.

With modesty (and, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, I have much to be modest about), I’m a good writer and speller. Still, I can’t count the number of times I’ve proofread an e-mail only to find a horrific misspelling, misstatement, or grammatical error.

I dare you to fire off one of those laughable notes to a reporter. Once the chuckling dies down in the newsroom, your e-mail is likely to find the trash folder pronto. Worse, the odds of that reporter reading your next note dwindle significantly. There are too many news sources out there for them to waste time with the sloppy.

Here’s the bottom line: Nothing says, “You’re not worth my time,” more than bad grammar and spelling. Respect your colleagues. Respect yourself. Aim for a professional image. Act like Santa by writing your e-mail and checking it twice.

 

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