have noticed I do not get much mail anymore from the post office. Of course, I still get bills and junk mail, but aside from this, little else. I surmise only a handful of people know how to write a business letter anymore. Most of the true correspondence I get nowadays is by e-mail and telephone (both of which have their share of junk).
When you do get a business letter today, it is typically poorly written in terms of style, layout, and grammar. I know we have made a lot of progress in word processing technology over the years, but it sure seems people do not know how to run such things as spelling and grammar checkers. I think the real culprit here though is text messaging which has basically annihilated any sense of syntax and word formation.
Now, instead of this…
Dear Sir, It was a pleasure talking with you today. Concerning your order, I have made the correction and credited your account accordingly. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely,
We now have this…
Dude, don't tabooma. cy. all is kewl. cm. stys plo
Actually, I don’t blame the younger generations for these bad writing habits as they are only innocent victims of technology. Instead, I blame my generation for not teaching them how to communicate properly in a corporate setting.
I first learned to write business letters in my high school typing class and have written numerous letters over the years. However, the kids today do not take typing anymore and are definitely not familiar with writing for business. Text messaging may be fine for quick and dirty interpersonal communications, but it also leads to some horrible writing habits. I do not care what your age is, a well written business letter can work miracles in terms of sales and service. Too bad it is slowly disappearing from the corporate landscape.
NOTE: for text messaging syntax, see NetLingo.
First published: September 22, 2008. Updated 2019
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]
For Tim’s columns, see: timbryce.com
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