Millennials Can Text but Are All Thumbs When It Comes to Formal Writing

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Although punching out messages on a keyboard or wireless device seems to have replaced pen and paper for members of the backpack generation, many young adults find that instant communications have taken a toll on their ability to produce a document in formal, written English. As twenty-somethings enter the workforce and are promoted to higher levels within organizations, they may discover that their use of online chat acronyms and text messaging shorthand are of little use in business and personal communications outside their circle of millennial peers.

"E-mail and text messaging are great in terms of speed and convenience, but they've made a mess of written English. In an effort to save keystrokes, the rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling are often ignored," commented Anne Webb, founder of TighterWriter.com, a new proofreading, editing, and writing service created to help the grammatically challenged of all ages. "These texting habits can all too easily creep into academic assignments and professional work, detracting from the message of the written piece and portraying the writer as inattentive to detail." Earning a lower grade, losing a client, or being passed over for a promotion or opportunity might be the unfortunate result. The TighterWriter service makes professional editing available to academics and business professionals who understand the importance of writing that effectively communicates their ideas.

Over the past year, Webb had the opportunity to review college essays written by high school seniors. "These students are bright and have so much to say about themselves and their future plans," she said. "But their use of acronyms and emoticons in a formal essay is inappropriate and will not score points with an admissions counselor. If I were reviewing the application, I might be tempted to write, 'IMHO, not a GR8 candidate' across the top." For those of us who thought getting an electric typewriter was a big deal, this shorthand translates, "In my humble opinion, not a great candidate."

Webb is quick to add that writing challenges are not limited to the millennial generation. "I recently attended a seminar sponsored by a major financial services company," she recalled. "A well-established attorney delivered a PowerPoint presentation promoting the benefits of a particular investment instrument. The slides were packed with information but riddled with spelling errors and unintelligible sentence fragments. His inaccuracies cost him a client that night. I felt that if he could not take the time or trouble to perfect his presentation, then he probably would not handle my money very carefully either."

With the launch of TighterWriter.com, Webb will partner her language skills with the writer's ideas and creativity to craft a document or presentation that stands out. She objectively examines each written piece with fresh eyes to spare clients the embarrassment or missed opportunities caused by inadvertent errors or lack of review time. "I'm not a ghost writer," she stresses. "I will not write your son's college essay for him, but I will make certain that it reads well and is error free before it is submitted." She wants clients to concentrate on what they do best and to let her worry about the rules of good writing. "Independent professionals, entrepreneurs, and corporate executives can all benefit from improved written communications, whether they appear in print or are sent electronically. Ideas still have to be communicated effectively, no matter what format is used."

Webb credits the nuns at her parish elementary school for providing a solid foundation in English grammar and composition that has benefited her for a lifetime. Their constant drilling, combined with her own admitted genetic tendency to check and re-check, resulted in her ability to spot and correct errors before the damage is done. "A little obsession can be a good thing," she admits.

About Anne Webb
Anne is a summa cum laude graduate of Manhattan College. She held "real" jobs in the New York metro area before trading her corporate cubicle for a home office. In both workplace scenarios, she has worked with executives who delegate editing tasks to others, suffer from dyslexia, speak English as a second language, or simply lack the time or inclination to worry about the finer points of writing. Since 1987, she has been a partner in a successful consulting practice that specializes in the needs of the publishing, graphic arts, and media industries. Satisfied clients have included Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, 3M, and Xerox, among many others. Anne is highly skilled at making the written word clear, concise, and readable for a wide variety of audiences. She has helped her associates look better in print for years. She can do the same for you.

For more information on how this service works and how Anne can help you look better in print, visit http://www.TighterWriter.com.

Contact:
Anne Webb
TighterWriter.com
401-217-4385
http://www.TighterWriter.com

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