Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Think Before you Send

Many would think that composing an email is easy like point and shoot. I beg to disagree because MAKING SENSE can be quite difficult to do. Expressing your thoughts on print is like trying to put on paper an image in your mind---if you don't know how to draw, then you're faced with a daunting task.

In composing an email, there are various things that you need to consider. First is WHO you're writing to. The decorum of your composition should fit the position of your reader. If you're writing your boss you must be extra careful what you say or else you might end up writing an application letter to a new company. Much that we want politics to stay in politics---companies are not spared from diplomatic relationships. Dealing with people carries such intricasies even in sending emails.

This leads us to our second point: PUT YOURSELF IN THE SHOES OF YOUR READER. When you're done, read what you just wrote and think of your reader's reaction. Did it attain the effect you wanted to relay? You see, aside from the message, it is also important to consider what kind of emotion you want to convey to your reader. Whether you want to be factual, soliticious, happy, remorseful, or sad is all a matter of how you use the punctuation marks. For instance, an exclamation mark can either connote admiration, excitement, surprise or anger. "What the ...?!" is phrase that exhibits the feeling of astonishment. It utilizes the use of the ellipsis (...) to intentionally hide an expletive (you know what that word is, right?) and added the exclamation mark in conjunction with the question mark to complete the desired effect. Basically, any written communication should mimic the same emotion as if you are talking to a person face to face. Easy huh?

Third point is GRAMMAR. I must admit that I'm not a master of this myself. I'm more a phonetical composer than a technical one. I think my lack of expertise in basic english grammar I compensated with my love for reading. So for me, if the sentence sounded right then that's it. What do you think? Do I sound coherant thus far? Anyway, one trick that I learned to compensate my writing deficiency is to utilize MS Word to check for grammatical inconsistencies. A red zigzag line under a word means you may have mispelled it. A green zigzag line under a word or a sentence (or what you thought to be a sentence) means that you may have gotten your grammar wrong or your sentence is not complete. Just right click on the marked word(s) and MS Word will provide you an option to correct; well, that is except if it does not understand the group of words you've put together to which it'll prompt you to consider revising it to make more sense. Neat eh?

Writing, like appearances, provide a lasting impression; a moment of truth that can be hard to negate. So make sure that before you click on that SEND button you've got your composition right. Sorry, re-calling a sent email does not always work.

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