Gary Kinder, founder and CEO of WordRake® writes the following:
“…Each of us has three vocabularies:
- our reading or comprehension vocabulary – by far the largest;
- our writing vocabulary – in the middle; and
- our speaking vocabulary – the smallest and least grammatical.
When speaking, we use, and tolerate (to a point) others using, ers and uhs and sos and wells and likes, and confusing who with whom and lay with lie because most of us can’t think fast enough when we speak to get it all grammatically correct; plus we have tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language to help us communicate. Our writing must be more precise than our speech because we have only words to convey meaning.
Email is a weird hybrid existing between speaking and writing. In that gap, our email mindset might be loose and informal, but our business recipients do not forgive our typos, grammatical slips, and bloated, unnecessary, abstract, sometimes nonsensical phrasing. That’s where the tension lies: we write it as though the message is impermanent; they judge it and us as though it’s permanent….”
When in business, we know the validity of “dress for success.” So, too, when communicating even in e-mail, write/speak commensurate with your market, the recipients of your communication. “Talking” with personal friends is a different matter.