Welcome to our communications digest, What's Your Point? The most recent entries appear below. To receive future updates by email, you can subscribe using the form on the right.
It’s no secret that incorrect use of grammar harms credibility. Take the case of a recent public tussle on Twitter, in which a critic called out a celebrity for his stand on a controversial issue, closing with this charge: “Your wrong.” The celebrity, who had a firmer grasp of grammar, had only to answer “My wrong what?” to win the argument in the court of public opinion.
Your writing may not receive the same level of public scrutiny, but inattention to grammar in any professional communication is a huge mistake. Poor grammar undermines your message by muddying its meaning and implying that what you’re saying isn’t important enough to get right. Even worse, it makes you look uninformed. In a business setting, where your expertise is a key asset, the consequences may include not just lost credibility but also lost customers, donors, contracts, or grants.
Read more » » »
Some of us are old enough to remember the advent of “Netiquette”—discussions of the most effective and appropriate means of communicating via the Internet. Since then email and other forms of electronic interchange have replaced telephone conversations as the most common means of communication across distances. Surely by now we all know how to get the most out of this medium?
Plagiarism is an ever-present problem in all forms of writing, but it’s especially persistent on the web. Even seasoned companies have been caught using someone else’s content. Some end up making multimillion-dollar settlements. Because the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 holds Internet service providers (ISPs) accountable for knowing infringement, offenders may find their websites taken down even without a legal judgment.
’Tis the season to discuss holiday cards. Specifically, this is a good time to think about whether the trend toward sending electronic holiday greetings in place of traditional cards is good for business—or not.
Dear What’s Your Point? Reader,
Have you ever sent a letter to an important group—customers, board members, donors, the cable company—and received back nothing but resounding silence? OK, we all get ignored by the cable company, but if you’re writing to a business constituent, eliciting a response can be crucial.