We ALL know better than to use OMG or TTYL in our business correspondence (um … we DO know that, don’t we?), but it’s dismaying how today’s social media habits have had a negative impact on our business language nonetheless. In our haste to communicate in as few key strokes as possible, we’ve grown dangerously accustomed to abbreviating and purposely misspelling our words.
In our transition from formal business letters to interoffice memos to emails to text messages and tweets, our communications are starting to resemble compacted cubes of trash. Thoughts, paragraphs, sentences, words and letters go in … small tight rectangles come out, rarely resembling the original content. We’re in a hurry. Say it and send it.
The laxity of attention to our language isn’t just in our instant communications … it spills over into many products that contain the written word. I sometimes attend networking events and typically return to my office with a number of business cards. In visiting the Web sites of many small business owners, I’m often aghast at the typos, grammatical errors, style inconsistencies and other evidence of not taking the time to proofread one’s work.
Before you visit your next customer, turn a critical eye toward your written communications. Ask someone else to study your Web site and your collateral materials. Ensure that your business content reflects your knowledge, your experience and your attention to detail … because it also reflects your reputation.