It’s All in the Details

punctuation_saves_lives_poster-rde0b962e192d4a14b84cfc8bf1a972ec_wir_400Okay, maybe punctuation doesn’t really save lives, but it definitely changes the meaning of your message.

The smallest mistake could literally cost you.
There’s a story of an employee who was e-mailing his boss about some new office equipment.

The employee attached a picture of the equipment to that e-mail and wrote, “It’s $10,000, but it will be a great addition to the office.”

The boss replied, “No price too high.”

So the employee went ahead and bought it.

What the boss meant to say was, “No, price too high,” but the mistake wasn’t realized until it was too late.

See what confusion a little mark on a page can cause?

In a world where everything is needed right now, you can’t overlook the importance of paying attention to even the slightest of details.

Some of the e-mails I get from executives make me wonder if passing a basic writing class should be the requirement for getting promoted. Communication skills (written and oral) are imperative for those in leadership roles.

The correct use of punctuation is important— in text messages, in e-mails, and especially in formal publications. If you don’t know how to use any of them, learn how to as soon as possible.

I’ll keep this post short and sweet because there’s no point in rambling about it. That would go against everything I believe in. (Remember Keep it Simple and What’s Your Point?)

Just remember: punctuation can change the whole meaning of your message, so use it correctly.

Hope Boyd
Written by:
Hope Boyd
Director of Communications, Strategic Government Resources

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