The Write Stuff April 2017 Volume 13 Issue 4

Readers Speak: Good Writing Matters

My article last month about whether good writing matters hit a nerve with several readers who took the time to send me their thoughts on the subject. It’s reassuring I’m not alone in stressing the importance of being able to communicate well in writing.

Reader #1
Bad writing is not only an embarrassment, but as you pointed out can also cost money! Poorly written communications by e-mail is extremely frustrating. In my business, I frequently receive orders from clients who do not communicate clearly. Then, I need to respond to requests with multiple messages and phone calls to clarify what the person really wants. The worst case is when we misinterpret the specifications of an order and actually produce a job that is wrong.

I am shocked by the terrible writing skills of people who can otherwise communicate quite clearly when speaking. I even see this at the level of corporate executives!

Public education is the key to producing better writers and I am deeply saddened to see where it seems to be headed. Do schools even use Strunk and White’s Elements of Style anymore?

Keep up the crusade for better writing and communication!

Reader #2
Your article about good writing was quite timely, since I’ve been trying to hire someone for our customer service department for some time — and am frustrated at applicants’ lack of writing ability. As part of our hiring process, we require prospective employees to write responses to common customer concerns, and they are woefully substandard. Even college graduates don’t seem to have basic knowledge of grammar or sentence structure. This doesn’t bode well for the future.

Don’t Trust Spell Check!
Using spell check should be part of your writing routine — but that doesn’t mean you should trust every suggestion it makes. For instance, I was recently encouraged to change “It’s clear” to “Its clear” and “you’re right” to “your right,” when in both cases the former is correct.

Need a Speaker?
I was honored to speak to San Diego Business Resources earlier this month, presenting “Writing for Success.” Would your team or group benefit from an entertaining writing refresher? Let me know.
Published On: May 25th, 2017 / Categories: 2017 /

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