Daily Archives: February 15, 2012

Intelligent Writing–Whether You’re Smart or Not

Our writing reflects not only our ideas, but also our intelligence.  Mistakes can peg us as unprofessional, lazy, stupid or uninformed.

“We fix duel exhaust.”  Really, well I don’t have two knights battling it out in my trunk right now.

“My work experience is vast and in compass’ everything you’re looking for.”  Except mastery of your native tongue.

“I will definately be there.”  I definitely won’t.

I’m not saying you can’t make mistakes from time to time.  We all do.  Spell check is not infallible, nor is our grasp of every single word and every single grammar rule.

But, when it matters, it can make the difference between selling your product–whether it’s dual exhaust services or yourself as a job candidate.  So, don’t sell yourself short by writing carelessly.

  • Read your work out loud.  Or better yet, have someone else read it to you.  The ear can pick up mistakes the eyes can’t.  A fun trick that works quite well is having your e-reader do the talking.  This automated voice system pauses on every comma and rushes (as much as computers do) through sentences without punctuation.  It physically hurts to hear them read a poorly constructed passage.
  • Use spell check on all those squiggly-lined words.
  • Check the dictionary to make sure you’re using the right word at the right time.  Sounds like isn’t close enough.
  • Grab a friend to look over your work.  Because, trust me, everyone else will be looking…and pointing and laughing.
  • If it’s really important, grab a professional.  Freelance writers/editors are everywhere and can help you catch the mistakes that make you look bad.

You don’t have to be smart to write smart.  But, writing poorly can make a genius sound uneducated.

How picky are you at checking over the things you write?  Do you have other read your important emails or do you self-edit everything?  Have you ever used a professional editor?  If so, what was that experience like?  Would you do it again?  Have you ever sent something cringe-worthy into the world?  How did you remedy that?

Curious minds want to know.