E-Mail and Bad Grammar

Dear Jean,

I receive more than 30 e-mails every day.  I am constantly astounded by the lack of writing skills shown in this correspondence.  I do not expect fine works of literature, but are spelling and basic good grammar too much to ask?

Reply:

There is e-mail and there is e-mail.  If e-mail is used in the same manner that a formal letter is used, then I agree that the rules of grammar and spelling should apply.  On the other hand, if e-mail is used to take the place of some phone communication, I don’t mind the misspelled words and weird sentence structures.

Now, if you listen in on any spoken conversation, you know that good grammar is usually absent.  Spelling isn’t even a consideration.  As we try to use e-mail in the same manner, grammar and spelling will suffer the same as in regular spoken conversation.

Here’s a question:  If e-mail was strictly required to always be perfect, would it take so long that we could no longer rely on it as an alternative to a phone call?

Here is a link to an article I wrote that was recently published, on E-mail Pet Peeves.  Is your biggest pet peeve mentioned?

http://health-information.advanceweb.com/Features/Articles/Avoid-These-Common-E-mail-Pet-Peeves.aspx

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