Seemingly overnight, texting has altered how people use grammar. “Techspeak” is creeping into the personal and the business environment. It’s become a grammar free-for-all where punctuation has disappeared and capitalization is MIA. In speeding down the information superhighway, it is important to not get pulled over by the grammar police. Following grammar sends the message that you are knowledgeable and professional despite operating in an increasingly informal world.
Grammar Rules for the Information Superhighway
- It’s okay to develop a dual personality when it comes to grammar. Just save the texting grammar and spelling for messaging friends and family.
- If you work in advertising or marketing, incorporate texting lingo in Facebook or Twitter ad campaigns geared to tweens or teens.
- Maintain formal grammar strategies in business. Many generations and cultures within the business environment do not speak the language of the texting age and may be offended or confused if you resort to such informalities.
- Ensure that business correspondence—emails, proposals and presentations, letters, etc.—incorporates pitch-perfect grammar and spelling, complete sentences, capitalization, and a vocabulary that conveys industry knowledge or business acumen. Even if a client replies in techspeak, stick to your grammar guns.
Getting Grammar Back on Track
Some debate whether texting is ruining the state of grammar amongst the young texting generations. Considering that the Internet provides a wealth of information about anything and everything, it’s hardly likely that grammar will become a lost art.
When you need help crossing “t’s” and dotting “i’s,” keep these suggestions in mind:
- Search engines will return pages of websites that list grammar rules and business writing techniques.
- Writing coaches and consultants help ensure you focus on professional and formal writing techniques.
- Copywriting and marketing specialty firms (hint, hint) make it their business to help you communicate clearly, effectively and, of course, correctly.
How do you approach grammar when it comes to your emails and writing? Do you keep it formal or do you find yourself using the new electronic lingo?