Does writing a grammatically correct email matter?
As a proofreading and copy-editing training outfit, of course we are not going to say it doesn’t matter at all! But, our natural bias aside, it’s worth considering why keeping errors out of even the briefest and most passing of professional correspondence is a good idea.
1. It shows respect for the person you are writing to.
Nothing says ‘I don’t care about this and I did it in a massive hurry’ more than an email that is riddled with errors.
2. It shows that you are detail-orientated and have paid attention.
If I see an email full of careless mistakes (not just a single typo) it makes me doubt the content as much as the presentation. For example, I recently received a medical information leaflet that recommended ‘breething exercises’. I did not, after that, have much trust that the medical information contained therein had been diligently checked for mistakes.
3. It gives an example of your work.
Put your best foot forward – all the more important, of course, if you are offering your services as a professional proofreader!
4. It helps prevent misunderstandings.
We don’t just love grammar because we have no sensible hobbies of our own. Clear grammar is a beautiful thing; it prevents ambiguous phrasing, misunderstandings, and miscommunications.
5. It prevents embarrassing slips!
‘beast’ for ‘best’, anyone? And we have all put a typo in someone’s name before – and received messages that misspell our names. Easily done, but no one likes it.
As with all things, though, there is a balance to be struck. Check through your emails carefully before sending, but don’t get stuck on them. Don’t take hours out of your working day to obsessively pore over every detail of every message you send. That way madness lies!