Green Clementine

SPAG – How do you eat yours?

By Claire Buckland

SPELLING, PUNCTUATION and GRAMMAR – with the recent uproar over SATs in the news. (I have been there done that and got the t-shirt with my two children in recent years.) This year has seen all manner of musings on the subject across multiple media not just online. So I thought I’d ask how do you eat yours?

Eats shoots and leaves? punctuate as you see fit.

So, does spelling, punctuation and grammar matter? I would have to say yes!

It is essential, for all forms of effective communication, in life in general but especially at work. If we cannot be understood we are not going to be successful in achieving our objectives. Email constitutes a major part of organisational communications and the ability to get your point across through this channel is absolutely imperative.

How often have you read an email with poor SPaG and made a judgement? You may not mean to, but we do. As human beings we are programmed by our values and belief systems. We cannot help creating beliefs about what we read, and how it is presented is equally as important. The equivalent of “actions speak louder than words” when referring to verbal and non-verbal communication. The same is true for written communications. Do you remember learning how to structure a letter at school and the correct location for the address and date? Same applies here.

Most recently I have let this irritation subside with my desire for happiness (see my other posts) and my perpetual question comes to mind again…So what? Does it REALLY matter?

However, one of my current bug bears are typos. When I read a blog post or online article it is important to me to be able to read it without errors shouting at me from the page. It can be very distracting and even cause me to abandon my reading altogether.

Typos are becoming increasingly common as we seek to communicate more and everyone is typing away on multiple devices. It is apparent that not all systems have the functionality of spell check or enable you to read what you have written.

My belief is, that with our ever increasing thirst for the written word, to be read at all times of day and in all different formats, there is an even greater need to ensure we proof read our posts!

Now I know I have set myself up for corrections and ridicule in my post here and know someone will find fault with my SPaG or a typo will have unwittingly appeared when I wasn’t looking and haven’t PROP effectively.

In conclusion I would like to encourage you my fellow writer to PROP and use SPaG effectively, each and every time you type. I would welcome your stories and encourage you to share your thoughts and continue the conversation…

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