Why care about grammar and punctuation in e-mail? Y cnt we jst ttfn and lol n eml?
Using correct grammar and punctuation in emails is good business. It shows respect for the reader, reflects well on your professionalism, and, most importantly, contributes to understanding. Grammar and punctuation mistakes and text messaging abbreviations open the door to misinterpretation -- and readers will always interpret something to their advantage, not yours. This means every email must be proofread and errors corrected. Limit text message abbreviations to the most common ones and be aware that what we think is common usage may not be what everyone thinks. For some people, LOL means little old lady!
What about those oh-so-cute smilies and emoticons?
What's wrong with ;-)? Nothing -- if you're writing to your BFF or are sending Facebook updates. If you want your business emails to look professional, limit the smilies and emoticons to non-business communications.
See my blog post Sharing Resources for websites to help with grammar and punctuation questions.
Patricia Haddock helps organizations achieve bottom-line results with training programs to improve business writing. See her Business Writing for Results workshops.