Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Your Mileage May Vary

Yesterday on First Offenders, Alison Gaylin asked for e-mail pet peeves. I commented:

I'm peeved when people treat e-mail and blogging more casually than "real writing". Any writing is more formal than talking because we all have the chance to polish our writing. Each of us chooses to take that chance or not. If you don't polish your writing, you shouldn't be surprised if people think you lazy or ignorant. Rosie O'Donnell's blog entry on the failure of her variety special comes to mind:

"There will b no more[...]still a thrill 4 me"

I start e-mail conversations with a salutation. With a friend, I might just use her name. This reminds me of the chance I have to craft my language. For a continuing conversation, I quote what I want to reply to, skip a line, and reply. As an e-list moderator, I've seen how many people simply quote entire (and sometimes several) messages with no regard for a recipient's download speed.

I do distinguish texting from blogging and e-mail. Texting is faster, so more errors are made, and abbreviating can make for fewer total messages, saving money.

I admit I've corrected two typos from my original comment. I mention them in follow-up comments on First Offenders.

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