Do you value your reader?
From the day we start school, we’re bombarded with rules and instructions on how to write well and correctly. However, many people seem to be immune to them.
Maybe a change of perspective would help. Rules and guidelines haven’t been created just to spite the writer; they help us write texts that are as unambiguous and understandable as possible.
The question is: do you value your reader, or at least, do you want to give an impression of valuing your reader?
If the answer is yes, you want to express yourself in a manner that allows the reader to work out your main points at one go, instead of forcing him or her to read it time and again to make head or tail of it, if lucky.
Badly written magazine articles and online news items can be left unread, but instructions and e-mails, so prevalent in our working hours, usually need to be read and interpreted somehow.
If a message is written in a half-baked way, it is easily misinterpreted. Then you need to go into lengthy explanations as to what exactly you meant. An incorrectly understood order can lead your not getting what you want, but something completely different. And who will be to blame…?
Well written texts also have an impact on business. If Matt is looking for a toaster online, will he choose a store whose site has all the relevant information presented clearly and succinctly, or a site that seems to be written by someone using an online translator?
If you don’t know anyone who could help you, there’s help to found online. I tend to turn to http://forum.thefreedictionary.com/, but I’m sure there any many, even better ones.
A little effort pays off. When your message gets through in one go, you don’t need to explain yourself. You also give your readers the impression that you value their time.