By: Scott Stein, Senior Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
If you spend enough time on Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites, you might begin to wonder if people are even looking at what there righting before they hit send. And it doesn’t stop their. With fewer resources, it seems that traditional print publications and even the scrolls on the TV stations have more and more mistakes with grammar. (Yes, those italicized/bolded words are deliberate grammatical mistakes.)
Maybe I’m the only one this bothers, but I have to wonder if the emergence of social media is a factor. I recall when e-mail was becoming a standard communication tool there was debate over whether you had to use punctuation and capitalization like you would in other written communication. My thought is that e-mails should be composed like a letter…a short salutation; complete sentences with punctuation; and a closing with my name.
I admit, however, that when I’m in a hurry I don’t always follow those self-imposed guidelines. I, too, am guilty of sacrificing grammar for speed at times. It just seems that more and more people today are opting for speedy communications, not just ignoring format, but also failing to take the time to sort out when to use their, there or they’re; it’s or its, affect v. effect, your or you’re…the list goes on.
Jody Gilbert of TechRepublic wrote, “…we can slip up in a verbal conversation and get away with it. A colleague may be thinking, “Did she just say ‘irregardless’?”, but the words flow on, and our worst transgressions are carried away and with luck, forgotten. That’s not the case with written communications. When we commit a grammatical crime in e-mails, etc…there’s no going back. We’ve just officially gone on record as being careless or clueless. And here’s the worst thing. It’s not necessary to be an editor or a language whiz or a spelling bee triathlete to spot such mistakes.”
There’s no doubt that shortcuts are needed at times with the limited number of characters with microblogs (Twitter, etc…). I do sometimes resort to using “2” instead of “to” to stay within the 140 character limit for a Tweet, but unlike many people, I’m still checking my grammar and spelling before sending.
What do you think? Are we sacrificing something in the name of speedy communications? Are you annoyed by grammar mistakes in social media?