Sep 17, 2009

You expect me to take you seriously?!

Okay, y'all all know that I'm a grammar and spelling nut. I think being able to write well is very important. People judge you on how well you write, especially if you are a white-collar professional.
And I don't usually hold typos or the occasional spelling error against writers; they happen to the best of us.
I read a lot of blogs and frequent a couple of message boards, one of which is for people with sleep apnea who use CPAP machines to control their condition. Most of the people on this board are patients who manage their own care because we can't find answers (or because we get bad ones) from professionals in the field of sleep medicine. This includes sleep doctors, Respiratory Therapists (RT), and sleep lab personnel. The experienced CPAP users on this board are able to help the new people.
In the last couple of months, we on this board have been joined by a couple of RTs. One young man - to his credit - came on seeking how to better serve his CPAP patients. Another RT came on this week and took the position of superiority and knowledge in her field of RT over those of us who are merely patients (which never, ever goes over well on this board).
What astounded me (and many of the other board members) was how badly these two professionals wrote their posts. To be a Respiratory Therapist requires a four-year college degree and the passing of a national and/or state examination, so they were supposedly educated. The posts were full of spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation errors.
Several board members made pointed comments about the errors. Both RTs replied that it didn't matter how they wrote or typed as long as the person reading could understand what they meant and to get over it.
Excuse me? You want me to take you seriously as a professional and you don't care about how you write? You send letters like your posts to doctors, patients, and insurance companies?! And it's my problem that you can't write correctly because I should just ignore it as long as I can figure out your meaning??!!
Maybe I'm of another generation (and I am), but I believe this comes from the "modern" schooling thought that you shouldn't correct students because it might damage their self-esteem. Baloney.
It's really sad because these folks are being judged. And they will always be judged. But they won't believe they might be losing jobs or business over it because it's not their problem. And that's a bunch of baloney, too.


Mary said...

I'm right there with you. You cannot believe how many that have applied for a position at my business. Some of these individuals have degrees, however, I'm appalled at the mistakes made on their resumes! I immediately throw those out. I have to say, though, that this is the way kids are taught now. Taylor is having to learn all over again skills such as spelling (instead of phonetics), grammar, etc. It appears that what is important in school these days is passing the TAKS. I could go on and on about that but I won't.

Gee, I hope I wrote this


Gloria said...

I agree that lack of schooling results in poor grammar and spelling skills.
In addition, I think the texting craze contributes to the disregard for proper communication. But I'm just an old fogey.

Jade said...

I completely agree. Whenever I bring up these ideas, I get slammed with the "function before form" argument. What they fail to see is that form *is* a kind of function. It declares the writer's level of education in basic English as well as his/her dedication to the project by displaying how much attention is payed to detail. It also shows the writer's respect towards the reader. At least that is how I feel about it. I am a foreigner, it took me years to learn English properly, and I love this language. I hate to see it misused because of mere negligence.

I hope I managed to avoid making some huge grammar mistake. :)

Rachel S said...

I know I sometimes fail in my grammar on my blog, but, in my professional career, I try to be accurate.

Daffycat said...

I agree with you. Such carelessness drives me crazy.

Recently, we received a complaint email from a lady. She said our store was "fulthy" and the "lobbie" was full of "garage" and then to top off these typos (?...I hope) nothing was capitalized or punctuated. We spent more time hooting over her letter than cleaning up the damn lobby.

Cindy F. said...

I'm amazed at their arrogance!! Thinking you should "get over it"!!
Like they're saying OMG, what's the BFD? is can demand it be given all you want!