Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You Can't Write

I'm amazed by the lack of writing skills some people possess. The last time I was in Potbelly, I noticed their menu said "We've got wheat bread." (lower right of the picture). Really? You have got wheat bread? Have you got edumacation too?

I received a few emails from someone who wanted to know more information on Colby...such as where did I get him and what his temperament is like. I don't mind corresponding with someone, but it absolutely drives me insane when I have to read their email several times before I can understand it. The more I converse with this person, the longer their emails get, too. I should've ignored it when the first email had all exclamation points. I figured the person was either a child or a cheerleader.

The second email was so frustrating, I originally deleted it. Then I felt bad because the person honestly wanted to know more about vizslas. I don't believe in depriving people of knowledge, not when they make the attempt to learn. So I dug it out of the trash, deciphered the abbreviations, placed punctuation where I thought it would go, and deleted some extra words that made no sense belonging in a sentence. Luckily nothing was misspelled at least.

Which earned me another email. Awesome. This time we had ZERO punctuation, including apostrophes on contractions, and absolutely no capitalization whatsoever. The person tried to tell me a story, but it was so poorly written it only generated confusion, not clarity. I'm going to employ a new strategy. I'm not going to answer any questions, purposely misinterpret their email, and ask questions that shows I cannot understand what they wrote. I'm sure I will be seen as too stupid to get it rather than "hey there must be something wrong with my communication". That's okay, the end result will be the same. The email traffic will stop, and I won't be the person to cut ties.

You want a business idea? How about starting a website people can link to whenever they get an email like this. The next time I get a frustrating email, my only reply will be The person will click on the link, and the header will say, "You've been directed here because you sent an email no one can comprehend. Congratulations, you cannot write."

Indications you cannot write: Do you...
  • end sentences with an exclamation point?
  • write in all caps?
  • write with no caps?
  • avoid punctuation at all costs?
  • use abbreviations or chatspeak?
  • fail to proofread emails before sending?
  • avoid spellchecker because you're too smart for that?
  • write as you speak? using vernacular and poor grammar?
  • like to use buzz words?
  • use 10 words when only 2 are needed? Can you even spot the extra words?
  • compose sentences lacking either a subject, verb, or object?
  • know what a noun is? How about a pronoun?
  • know what a thesis statement is?
  • understand that poor writing skills can and will cost you a job?

    The rest of this website is dedicated to providing simple and clear instruction for the writing illiterate. It should also include Hall Of Fame Bad Writing Examples to show people exactly what they sound like.
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