"The spelling in e-mail is rotten, the grammar is atrocious, the punctuation — don't ask. No wonder people who love language are wringing their hands and saying the computer has been a disaster for the written word."
Truer words were never spoken.
To help us fix our e-mail bloopers, language mavens Patricia T. O'Conner and Stewart Kellerman, whose quote appears above, wrote a book which was published as far back as — would you believe it? — 2003. Eight years on, the points made in You Send Me: Getting It Right When You Write Online are still valid.
|CAN YOU FIGURE OUT WHICH PUNCTUATION MARKS ARE MISSING?|
Now, to test your e-mail IQ, Grammarphobia.com has put together 20 questions, based on O'Conner and Kellerman's book, that you should ask yourself before you hit "Send". All 20 questions — and explanations — are available here. The ones I found particularly helpful are given below:
1. Is the subject line helpful?2. Is the language clear?3. Did you say what you're replying to?4. Did you break for paragraphs?5. Did you read it again?6. Did you check the grammar, spelling, and punctuation?
Simple, practical, and easy-to-apply advice. Why didn't we think of it ourselves?
- Patricia T. O'Conner has also written a bestselling grammar book, Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English. This book, as well as You Send Me, is available on Flipkart.
- Illustration courtesy: HootSuite.
- ALSO READ: "Want To Be Taken Seriously? Become a Better Writer"