Text message language is a highly informal way of writing that is often used in communication between friends. It is usually used when communicating by mobile phone messages, although it may sometimes be used in other kinds of written digital communication. This type of language is now widely used and many different people will understand it and prefer it to more long-winded, traditional ways of writing. So can it ever be acceptable to use text message language in a business setting?
As with any question about the appropriateness of language, much of this will depend on the context. In a formal environment, text message language and any other forms of abbreviated language should be avoided at all costs. This should include all internal and external communications and presentations.
It may very occasionally be acceptable to use colloquial and informal language in an email to a colleague who you know well, For example, if they have done you a favour, you may want to send them a smiley face or other sign of your appreciation. However, this should be reserved to email or instant messenger only – never use this kind of communication in an environment where it may be seen by others, and never use swear words or expletives.
The most important thing to bear in mind is to be aware of the language you are using at all times. If you feel comfortable using a highly informal writing style, that’s fine, just be conscious of how it could come across when communicating with people who are more senior than you. Take your lead from the company and the people around you. As long as you remain aware of your surroundings, do what feels appropriate to you at the time. This is how to create the most genuine relationships with your language.
Writing is one of the most important life skills. It’s essential in everything you do and everything you learn. That’s why we should make sure our children are able to write competently and express themselves eloquently. Here are some ways to help children learn:
- Encourage them to write a blog. So many people enjoy this as a pastime nowadays and it can be an engaging activity for a child. When it comes to college and university applications, it will help to show that they have interests outside of school.
- Play educational games with them. These could be anything from boards games to online games, as long as it gets them thinking about and experimenting with language.
- Read with them. One of the best ways to become a good writer is to read as much writing as you can. Novels, poetry, magazines, online content – it can all be educational.
- Enter competitions with them. Get children to use their creative skills and write in a competitive environment. This will encourage them to have high ambitions and aspirations when it comes to their writing.
There are many different situations that might require you to hire a professional writer. Whilst many people think that they can save some money by choosing to write content themselves, it can end up being a false economy. Writers will have a wide and varied vocabulary, an eloquent writing style and an excellent knowledge of grammar. The literature you produce about your business needs these skills to make it highly professional – it is often the first thing people will see. Here are some of the most popular areas where a writer can help you:
- Press releases. These important pieces of writing will communicate newsworthy items to media and press.
- Advertising copy. Your copy is your way of selling your business, so a writer can make sure it’s perfect.
- Blogs. Copywriters and content writers will be able to write blog posts for websites on all kinds of topics.
- Articles and news stories. These can be for your website, company newsletters or any other source.
- Editorial pieces. Sometimes you will get the opportunity to put sponsored articles into publications. Writers can help you to make the most of this opportunity.
- Website copy. New customers who find you via your website should be able to read copy that makes a good first impression.
- Editing. It is impossible to objectively edit your own work. Hire a professional to help you.
Many people believe that children should be taught grammar more thoroughly in schools. Whilst British students do have lessons in English, these incorporate lots of different aspects and don’t necessarily just focus on grammar.
It’s important to understand grammar whenever you are writing. If a sentence doesn’t sound quite right, the best way to try and work out what could be wrong is to break it down and analyse the grammar. By working out the different parts of the sentence and the ways in which they function together, you will be able to understand what the problem is and make the correction.
Children should learn this from a young age in order to understand it as thoroughly as possible. If you have children who you feel might be struggling to fully understand grammar, speak to their teachers and try to give them extra support with homework. All teachers should be reinforcing the message, not just English teachers, so ask the school whether this is happening. If you still have concerns about you child’s development, it might be worth considering some private English tutoring.
The importance of proofreading can’t be overemphasised. It’s so integral to the success of any piece of writing, in any context. Without thorough proofreading, mistakes can slip through the net and errors can go unnoticed. In the worst case scenario the text might not even make sense.
You may want to break your proofreading down into stages to make it more manageable. If you try to tackle too much in one go, it’s very easy to miss something. Be very careful not to skim-read; your eyes can often be tricked. Reading over text quickly puts you in danger of missing spelling mistakes and skipping over poorly-constructed sentences. Be thorough in your proofreading.
It’s always worth asking someone else to proofread for you. Once you’ve read it through yourself, call on the help of a friend, colleague or even a professional proofreader. It is very difficult to be objective when you have spent a long time working on a piece of writing, and a new pair of eyes will be so valuable. If you find someone who is a good proofreader, use their services again – it’s important to find someone with a keen eye for detail who works well with you.
When looking for a new job, it’s so important to write a coherent and eloquent application. Even if writing won’t form one of your main duties at work, an employer wants to know that you are a strong communicator. Written English cannot be ignored.
To start with, you need to be able to make your CV legible. If it is not structured correctly and cannot be read easily, employers will bypass it. You don’t need to use complex language – just ensure that it is fluent and makes perfect sense.
Covering letters are just as important. They are your opportunity to make your application a little bit more personal, so they need to be well written. Use persuasive language to convince your potential future employer that you will be right for the role and emphasise why you want to work there.
Remember, good spelling and grammar will show good attention to detail. It will be difficult to prove to someone that you will make a conscientious and hard-working employee if your job application looks lazy and haphazard. Read and re-read it many times over and ask someone else to proofread it for you. Submitting a high-quality application that is right shows you have initiative, and are willing to go out of your way to do something well.
Presentations can take a lot of work. They involve writing and editing the content itself, as well as preparing how best to deliver it to an audience. There are a number of tips which you should bear in mind that can help you enormously. Here are some of the most important:
- Less is more. If you’re writing content on slides to present to an audience, don’t overwhelm them. Keep to the most important details.
- Be clear. When you’re writing content which is going to be presented to an audience, you want to make sure that the information is accessible.
- Use images too. The words in a presentation need to be backed up by something visually interesting.
- Use simple language. If there is any jargon which is unavoidable, make sure that it is explained. Anybody watching your presentation should be able to understand you.
- Write in a range of long and short sentences which sound natural. This will help your content to flow well.
- Have additional details on hand. People may want to ask further questions at the end.
It’s becoming far easier to earn money and make a living from your writing skills, and there are a number of different capacities in which you can work as a writer. The key to success is knowing where to begin and how to break into your desired field.
It’s important that you know about the different sectors in which you’re able to work as a writer. Working as a journalist is very different to writing novels for a living. Once you’ve got into the industry of your choice and have established yourself as a skilled writer, a variety of different options will open up to you. Everybody needs a starting point.
Get a portfolio together. To apply for almost any writing job, you will need to be able to show what you can do. If you have no previous writing experience, you will probably need to take on some unpaid projects. It can be frustrating putting your heart and soul into work which doesn’t have any immediate benefit, but in the long term, it will pay off.
If you’re in a position to study further, enrol on a course. This could be anything from a local creative writing course to a university degree in English Literature. Having qualifications is a great way to prove your worth as a writer and it will give you plenty of opportunities to hone your skills.
Making your writing work for your purpose is a large part of being a good written communicator. The language which you use is incredibly important – for example, you wouldn’t write a post-it note to a friend using the same tone as you’d use for an academic thesis. Here is some advice on the types of language you should use in various situations:
- Writing for a website. Use shorter sentences and ensure that the text is clear and concise. If you are selling a product ensure that your copy is direct and to the point.
- Writing to a potential employer. Write in a formal style, but don’t be afraid to let you personality come through. This will make your application memorable.
- Writing a blog. This will largely depend on what the blog post is about. If it is an entertaining lifestyle blog, you can make your tone informal and conversational. However, if you’re blogging for a serious website this tone of voice may not be appropriate.
- Writing a short story. Story writing is a highly creative process and you can use any kind of language you like. Just make sure that your meaning is clear to your readers.
- Writing an article. This kind of writing is usually used to inform people. Whatever the topic might be, ensure that you are descriptive whilst making the content interesting and drawing out any relevant or interesting points.
Writing to suit your purpose is largely about knowing your audience and making a judgement about what is appropriate. If you ever get stuck, imagine that you are talking to them directly and this will help you to craft an appropriate piece of writing for them.
If you work in an academic or business setting, it’s likely that you will have to give written feedback to students, employees and colleagues. There are certain ways of providing this feedback which will gain you better results, which will be discussed in this article.
Be concise. The more you write, the less likely people are to absorb it all. Consider using bullet points to break your comments down into easily-digestible chunks.
Don’t be over-critical. If you want to get the best out of people, adopt a positive tone and provide constructive criticism which offers a clear pathway to improvement.
Ensure that your writing is of a high quality. You need to ensure that pupils or employees have respect for you and in order to do this, you must establish yourself as a figure of authority. Being intelligent and eloquent is a big part of this, and it’s something which you can establish through your writing.
Finally, use your writing to make those around you better writers. If you identify grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, point them out and provide solutions going forward. Students and staff who are good communicators will be able to achieve more highly across the board.