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I Right Email and Reports

I got two messages this week from professional women who told me what they right. It wasn’t that they were righting wrongs. They were writing email, reports, and proposals. They simply typed right when they meant write. And they did not catch their errors before the messages reached me.

At times we all type incorrect words–no for know, their for there, wait for weight. It happens because we type the words that go through our minds, and we may hear them in our minds rather than see them. I don’t intend this as a scientific explanation based on brain research. Rather, it is what happens to me. I may compose a sentence with passed yet type past because I didn’t have an image of the word I was typing. I didn’t think about it.

No matter how we make such errors, all of us can catch them before they reach our clients, customers, and others if we take time to proofread. A your that should be you’re screams at us if we just read the sentence it appears in. And we all know where their belongs–no excuses! We just need to take a moment to read what we have written.

Don’t right email and reports. Right the wrongs in them. Proofread!

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

9 comments on “I Right Email and Reports”

  • I think this behavior annoys the 40+ age group the most. I am not sure the younger age groups even notice because they are so used to cell phone texting shorthand.

  • Hi, Lynn
    I totally agree with that ‘Proofread’ is a necessary step in business writing. Not only could it save readers’ time, but also it shows respect to them.

  • Hi lynn,
    I think it happens subconsciously even though we intend to do it.I have came across a couple of words which are often misspelt.
    I came across a letter written by an officer to a KERNEL regarding SUM issue.In a different case a letter written by a student to the PRINCIPLE asking for permission.
    As you have rightly pointed out proofreading should be a habit rather than a task because much of the younger generation including me are used to the social networking language which makes it tough when it comes writing anything official or important!

  • If u actually see even while talking about proofreading i dint proofread my comment properly and ended up with many grammatical mistakes!!

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