Business Writing

Talk, tips, and best picks for writers on the job.

Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

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« Proofreading Checklist to Avoid "Oops!" Messages | Main

September 14, 2018

Comments

Bart Rosenberg

Lynn,
I never walk past a mistake; doing so sets a lower standard. I have frequently pointed out to emailers the error(s) of their ways, suggesting they take a refresher course in grammar. Tough talk but they can certainly take time off from texting. Then I hit delete and block further emails from them. If they need to contact me, they will find a way.
Bart

Susannah Wight

If in seriously picky mode I might write back setting out all these points: asking if the sender sent me the message in error as my name is spelled incorrectly and in any case I am not a 'sir', asking what all the abbreviations mean, etc. etc.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Bart,

That's an interesting approach. Unlike you, I rarely provide corrections, especially with strangers. It just takes too much time.

It occurs to me that when you block further emails, you close the door on receiving a possible thank-you. I would wonder how the other person felt about receiving the input. Do you ever wonder?

Thanks for commenting.

Lynn

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Susannah,

Sometimes I feel like being seriously picky too, and that feeling ends up in a blog post.

I wonder whether anyone has ever responded to your feedback. Do you recall a situation?

Lynn

Deborah

Hi Lynn,

Great to see that I gave you a good (or bad, should I say?) example!

I didn't provide much background, but it's important to know that the writer is a customer, so I can't really block them or even tell them anything about their writing.

I'm still not sure what "supp" was meant to mean, and I'm afraid that "a.m." stands for "above-mentioned".

I work in a commercial field and sadly I see an enormous amount of messages of this kind (even from my own colleagues). Me, working in administration, I try to keep a higher standard. But people in the operation/commercial department always complain to have very little time. They're always in a hurry and every letter saved seems to matter a lot to them!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Deborah,

Thanks for correcting me! I guess I should have realized that the writer was a customer. The word "invoice" should have made it clear to me, but I was focused on the errors.

This changes everything. As you said, one certainly can't ignore or correct a client (although sometimes my job IS to correct clients). And you would not want to fire a client.

With things like "a.m." as "above-mentioned," I would go crazy.

Thanks for clarifying.

Lynn

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