“Y cant we use prop eng bro?” WHAT?#@? – The Importance of Grammar and Your Personal Brand

Grumpy Old ManAt the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man…. today’s generation cannot spell.

This is not a new thing by any means.  It has reached mainstream news broadcasts, countless articles have been published on the subject, and don’t forget the many social media posts talking about the epidemic.

What is new is the fact that now the epidemic is spreading.

With the emergence of social media, more and more teens went to short-hand communication online.  It trended from a normal post on Myspace, to the shortened cleanness of a Facebook post, to the shortened text message and IM, to the ever-so-shortened Tweet, etc etc.  You have likely heard about it everywhere. “Can the spell check generation spell?” “Do teachers care?” “Social Media is ruining the world!”

Now, however, it seems to be growing.

It’s More Than Just Teens

Bad GrammarJust today, I have read 40+ posts where an adult has posted something online using short-hand, misspelled words or a complete lack of punctuation (never mind proper punctuation!).  I have read posts containing “ur”, “y”, and some posts in which not even one word was spelled correctly.

Not only does the misspelling and lack of punctuation affect our posts on social media, it is now making its way into the workplace.  I receive emails from customers and co-workers on a daily basis with misspellings and punctuation errors.  One such email, a reply thanking me for sending a product sample, simply read, “Thk uu”.  That’s it.  It didn’t contain a salutation, signature, punctuation, or anything.

One would think that in a business environment, we would care more about our image.  Our image is our personal “brand” after-all, isn’t it?

The “grammar epidemic” is going to haunt some of it’s offenders as we start to recover our standards.  There is going to come a day where these people look back and think to themselves, “What was I thinking”.

Why will they ask that?

Because in the digital age. which is already upon us, everyone is able to scrutinize our personal brand at the push of a button.

The Importance of a Personal Brand

MyBrandAccording to jobsearch.about.com author , “Professional branding is important for anyone who is job searching or building their career. It’s important to create a personal brand that portrays you in a professional light and which provides employers and contacts with a strong positive impression of you as a high-caliber individual who would be an asset to their organization.”

Employers, organizational leaders, and more are looking at our personal brand as our “Business Card”, and can determine more than most of us care to admit, all found in a simple Google search.

Our personal brand can hurt us if we do not maintain it, or it can help us score the top job if we spend time building it.

According to Lisa Quast of forbes.com, “Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s new CEO, is an example of how personal brand building can positively impact your career.  How did Marissa score the position of CEO at Yahoo?  According to Laura Reis, it was because she has what most people don’t – she has a brand.  ‘As Google’s 20th employee and first woman engineer, she is a ‘brand’. Marissa Mayer is the woman that made Google successful”

Maybe it’s a stretch to think we can go from saying “txt me l8r ur gonna luv ths thx” on Facebook to becoming the CEO of Yahoo, but using proper grammar, spelling and punctuation on social media sites, in blogs, emails and texts, is definitely a good start.

So take pride in yourself and your personal brand.  It may help you when you need it the most.

Thanks for reading.

Ryan Klaas


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