Writing tips 4: Refresher on fundamentals

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writing tip, daily writing tip, writing classes, writing jobsA lot has been said and written about social media and its effects on our culture. I imagine someone could write fat book on the subject. (Perhaps someone already has!) As a writer, I am especially sensitive to how the written word is conveyed. One thing I can say for certain is that overall, writing on social media leaves a lot to be desired.

I don’t know why this is. It appears that most people feel they don’t need to write well. Others probably just don’t know they are making mistakes. Either way, their writing skills–or lack thereof–leave a lasting impression. And that impression is not necessarily a good one.

This is next in a series of blog posts designed to review some of the common writing errors. These are actual examples of poor writing that I have seen or received. Most were on Facebook, but others came to me in emails. Each offers errors in one or more areas:

– Capitalization

– Spelling

– Grammar, word usage

– Punctuation

The most common error I see everywhere is the overuse of the comma. For some reason, people have forgotten about the period. (The semicolon comes in handy on occasion, too; it’s nice to see that employed.)

In each case I offer suggested corrections. My hope is that you will learn from what others have done. In the process, your writing will improve. And so will your image.

Example 1:

This is part of an email that I received.

“yes, and if your asking me to sign your club up i will………..just bounce back an e-mail confirmation of this message and you’re in baby………..eventually i will need your theme or a description of your special project………there is a sign up form on the district web/district conference site”

Primary issues: Capitalization and punctuation. Note, also the ‘your/you’re’ mistake. I won’t bother with much editing.

Rework:

“Yes, and if you’re asking me to sign up your club, I will. Just bounce back an e-mail confirmation of this message and you’re in, baby. Eventually I need your theme or a description of your special project. There is a sign-up form on the district web/district conference site.”

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Example 2:

“I have filled several complaints, I only have my cell now, and when I get both text and those robo calls, I text back, do not call or I will report, then I report when they do again. I think I finally have it licked since it has been awhile since I have had those calls.”

Primary issues: Punctuation-related. Specifically, overuse of the comma when other punctuation marks are needed. Again, I won’t bother with rewriting the piece.

Rework:

“I have filled [‘fielded’?] several complaints. I only have my cell now. When I get both text and those robo calls, I text back, “Do not call or I will report.” I report when they do again. I think I finally have it licked; it’s been awhile since I had one of those calls.”

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Example 3:

“Rest assure that this email have been forwarded to our developers so that they can take necessary actions to fix the problem.
In the mean time please try this work around to the problem, it could be that the original extension cannot be converted to the extension you requested; so please try converting it to a different extension first and then try converting it again to the extension you want.
Example: if (.FLV) to (.MPG) failed to convert, try converting (.FLV) to (.MOV) first and then from (.MOV) to (.MPG)
Please keep in mind that this is a Beta release, we thank you for your support and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

Primary issue: Mostly punctuation-related. A few misspells, as well.

Rework:

“Rest assured that this email has been forwarded to our developers so that they can take the necessary actions. In the meantime [one word], please try this workaround to the problem. It could be that the original extension cannot be converted to the extension you requested. Please try converting it to a different extension first, and then try converting it again to the extension you want.

For example: If .flv [parentheses not needed] to .mpg failed to convert, try converting .flv to .mov, and then convert .mov to .mpg.

Please keep in mind that this is a beta release. We thank you for your support, and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

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Watch for my next installment. (Writing Tip #3 is available here.)  Meantime, to further sharpen your writing skills, see “How to use the apostrophe” and “Regardless vs Irregardless”.

Feel free to comment below. If you found value with this post, could you do me a favor and share it with others? You may use any of the buttons below. That way others will benefit from what you and I have written. To contact me, send an email.

Tom Fuszard

 

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