I find that when it comes to punctuation, spelling and grammar, most people fall into one of three categories:
- They couldn’t care less how something should be written or spelled.
- They are sticklers who always have to make sure everything is just right.
- They fall somewhere in between – making an effort to do their best, but aware they could and should do better.
Just as your physical appearance affects how someone forms an opinion of you in everyday life, your written word does the same when communicating via text – whether via pen and paper, your computer or your cell. Yet I’m sure we’ve all received an email or text message with some combination of letters and numbers intended to convey a word, such as, “So gld were gng 2 da movies l8r. Shld b g8t!” I swear, when I receive a message like this, it takes me more time to decipher what the person was trying to say, than it would have taken them to type just a few extra letters.
Do yourself and your readers a favor: Take the time to be artful in your communications, regardless of the form. Whether text messages to your best friend, or a thesis on the effect the Great Barrier Reef’s destruction will have on global ecology, they all matter.
What does your own grammar say about you? Are the few seconds you save by omitting letters and punctuation in your writing worth the respect you may lose by doing so?