That’s why punctuation exists

legal grammar

Regular readers know that email is a constant (and painful) battle for me.  If you’ve forgotten, you might want to have a butchers at this and this.  I know everyone has gripes, but email gets on my proverbials in ways I can’t even describe.

My latest peeve relates to the following ‘punctuation-less’ email which I received recently. 

“Hi Mike* please see the attached would you leave them named as they are no need to put countersigned  thanks.”

* OMG – off to a VERY bad start. I simply cannot stand the name, ‘Mike’. (Seriously, it will bring on a bilious attack for me… and no one wants that).

Hmmm.  Believe it or not, they aren’t just random words.  They were meant to make sense; it’s just a pity they didn’t. 

Maybe I should focus on the positives – there was a full stop at the end.  But the fact remains I had to re-read this SEVERAL times (and ponder it overnight) before it made any sense to my email-frazzled brain. 

So, please, if you’re in the habit of sending emails such as this brarmer, here’s a bit of advice.  Just because it made sense to you when you typed it, don’t assume you can whack the send button without so much as a quick skim read.

Everyone always makes a big deal about brevity in emails.  If you’re in the ‘short and sweet’ crowd, that’s fine, but just remember you can’t cut out the punctuation and expect it still to make sense to the recipient.

So there you go: another lazy, sloppy email.  That’s this evening’s lesson over with, children.

Comments

  1. I am not the best writer and my grammar is awful. However, I absolutely can NOT understand a poorly written sentence. It takes me a long time to figure out what the writer meant to say. This is a huge problem when the writer is your law school professor and I am trying to decipher an exam hypo!!!! The email above was lost on me for a good 30 seconds, that's how bad it was.

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  2. Life can't be that bad if that's what's keeping you awake at night.

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