You see all sorts of “creative” English being written and shared online. A lot of the language quality is a throwback to when social media was used primarily for personal communications and a lot of abbreviated English was used.
With the rapid pace of available online technology coming at you and new terms, which are being introduced on a very regular basis, that English language is bound to be affected. Along with new terms that are being used to describe new tools are the rules that apply to those particular tools. Of course, the tools are introduced to the public more quickly than the rules themselves. In fact, it can take a very long time for the new terms to be officially integrated into the language.
Not always what you think
As you are writing your content, you will be inclined to use some of the new terms to which you have been introduced. You shouldn’t necessarily assume that they are spelled the way that they sound. Another annoying variable is Autocorrect. If you aren’t careful with Autocorrect, you may end up with all sorts of interesting (and incorrect) terms. You can’t really rely on Spellcheck either because it doesn’t recognize most new terms and, in fact, it will only recognize whatever is in its glossary. Let’s face it, the most reliable thing when it comes to getting the English language correct is the human brain. Computers, no matter how sophisticated they may be, are still just machines. There are many common Internet terms that you will come across through your online work. Not only is the spelling important but the punctuation and consistent style are also important.
List of terms (they are used exactly as written)
e-reader, e-commerce, e-learning (all of those terms use a hyphen)
Facebook (Facebook’s founder insists that whenever “Facebook” appears in print, it must have a capital “F”)
“like” in Facebook’s context must appear in quotation marks
friend (used as a verb)
Twitter (always with a capital “T”; however, “tweet” is lowercase)
checkin (as a noun)
check in (as a verb)
Google (as a noun)
google (as a verb)
Consistency is critical
It is of the utmost importance that you are consistent in the way in which you use the online terms. You will probably end up using many (if not all) of the terms and you need to make sure that they appear exactly the same each time. If you are not 100% consistent, it won’t be the end of the universe; however, if you demonstrate consistency and your content is completely error free as far as grammar, punctuation, and spelling are concerned, people will regard you as someone who really cares about their work and has a great eye for detail.
Proper grammar in your writing is one of the most important elements because it makes a statement about you as a professional and as a person. Also, if you have grammatical errors in your content, you may be hurting your chances of your readers understanding what you are trying to convey. Caring enough to make sure that your content is perfect will go a long way to making a statement about your work and your business. Good grammar is a sign of good breeding. People will appreciate your refinement. Always read your content carefully before you send it out to the great big cyberworld.
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Carolyn Cohn is the Chief Editor of CompuKol Communications LLC. Mrs. Cohn has a wealth of experience in business writing as well as having a strong editorial background. She manages all of the company’s writers, journalists and editors as well as writing, editing and publishing several business articles a week on a consistent basis, which are syndicated globally.
Mrs. Cohn has run several editorial departments for other companies. She has over 25 years of editorial experience and her expertise covers a wide range of media, such as online editing, and editing books, journal articles, abstracts, and promotional and educational materials.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Cohn has established and maintained strong relationships with professionals from a wide variety of companies. The principle that governs her work is that all words need to be edited.
Mrs. Cohn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.
Mrs. Cohn is a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA).
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