Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bad writing

My Editing professor in college (a wonderful spitfire of a woman) had the funniest name for bad writing in business -- "Bizcrap" she called it -- because that's what it was. Crappy writing that people in the business world produced and, to her surprise, used.

(This is the same woman who told my Editing class that she refused to give us a grade on one assignment because reading it made her eyes bleed. Can you tell I learned a lot from her?)

But anyway, the point of this post is that bad writing is far too prevalent in modern society. Some people say email is creating a nation of bad writers. The ease of communication email presents means that we spend less time on crafting an effective letter to co-workers and friends. Why bother, when you can dash it off in two minutes and click send, knowing that it will get there immediately?

Some companies are thankfully striking back at this epidemic of poor grammar, as this 2005 NBC Nightly News story shows. Reading that story, though old, gave me a warm feeling inside (then again that could be the coffee ... but I digress).

The point is that we shouldn't succumb to the temptation of dashing off any sort of correspondence without taking the time to read over it. You wouldn't send a poorly written novel off to a publisher (hope springs eternal) would you?

1 comment:

Stephanie Faris said...

E-mailing is creating bad writers but not as much as texting is. What are kids learning? To take shorthand? It's ridiculous. I've been asked to proof things for higher-ups because of my writing accomplishments and it always astounds me how often the most successful people are the worst writers.