A Plea

To all those who write emails like the one below,

hi how’re u? m gud as usual. So nice 2 here frm u. i ws jst waiting 4 ur mail my exams start in jan so wish me luck!!!

I hate receiving mails like these. They’re so difficult to read! They may save the writer’s time, since they’re full of abbreviations, but they waste my time since I have to spend a lot of time just deciphering them. Does it really take so much time to type ‘you’ instead of ‘u’ and to insert a period in between sentences?

Ever read a book called ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ by Lynn Truss? Truss claims that she’s a language Nazi. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself that (though I’m sure some of my friends would!). My knowledge of English grammar and punctuation isn’t deep enough. But I do try! I always edit whatever I write. The editing may not be perfect but at least I make an effort!

I always think that a carefully written email shows that you care about what your readers experience while reading it. You may not use colons and semi-colons, but what about commas and periods? A paragraph break? Upper case? They’re not your enemies…they make your written work more coherent!

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8 thoughts on “A Plea

  1. Well, even I do it so am not the best person to comment on this. But all I can say is, in this hyperly evolving technology, wherein we talk about web2.0, eLearning 2.0 this is something that can be termed as language 2.0. I doubt that even kids in school must be writing their exam papers in this fashion..!

  2. And therein lies the whole problem!! I suppose language has to evolve too, but I’m a traditionalist in this one matter.

  3. umm…i m sorry but i think the blog starts with incorrect english.shouldn’t it be,’i hate receiving mails like THESE’…ok i m not being cruel.its just a little funny.u said u edit whatever u write…

  4. Abbreviations do cause problems to the reader who is not so much used to those, but I would still say that this is not so big an issue. It may not always be a case of language degeneration. It could be the simple lack of time. The point which I think is important is that one should be able to comminicate, whether with or without paragraph breaks. There are two things:
    1. Research has shown that spellings do not matter so long as it sounds similar.
    2. Creative growth lies in letting ideas flow without any set limits (eg. strict grammatical rules) so long as it makes sesnse.

  5. I see that I’m outnumbered 🙂

    Anon:

    Since I just gave one example, I thought I could use ‘this’. Of course, I may be wrong. I’ll have to look it up.

    Koro:

    It’s a personal grievance. And I just felt like ranting. 🙂
    I’d received a particularly unreadable mail that day, so I got more than a little annoyed.

  6. hehe…I know! And you are entitled to your opinion and don’t ever need to justify it. It is alright if you are a language nazi because otherwise we will all be living in shanghai. As for me, I am not a traditionalist because I cannot afford to be one!!! hehe.

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