Commas are a girl’s best friend.
This morning, a friend texted saying she was having a staffing problem at the radio station where she works.
“Do you want to host the noon-hour phone in?” she wrote. Maybe she was joking, maybe not.
“Sure!” I texted back. “Can I talk about commas?”
No response. Yeah, well, not everyone likes to talk about commas, I guess. Or apostrophes, ellipses, or the dreaded SEMI-COLON.
No one likes to think about them, either. But you should – or you should pay someone to do it for you. Why? Because reading carelessly written or unedited writing makes my eyes bleed. And not just my eyes! It’ll make your clients’, customers’, and prospects’ eyes bleed, too. (Did you notice those apostrophes on the plural nouns? That’s right – they go AFTER the s!)
You might reply, “Aw, shucks, no one cares about this stuff anymore.” But it’s like this: Two people show up for an interview at your office. Both are well turned out and look pretty professional. Both do reasonably well in the interview. But one is wearing grubby flip-flops and the other is wearing clean dress shoes. Who are you going to hire?
Clean, clear, accurate, and error-free text lets folks know you mean business. It says you care, you’re professional, you pay attention to details, and you’re going to do it right, whatever IT is.
The average person might not notice if you use one comma incorrectly. But they WILL notice if the writing on your website, in your brochure or proposal, or in your emails does not meet a high standard of quality. A few missing punctuation marks or the odd spelling mistake might not seem momentous now, but it’s all part of polishing your image and putting your absolute best foot forward, today and every day.
As far as that potential customer or client is concerned, you ARE what’s written on that LinkedIn profile, web page, or business card. Make sure you’re looking your best.
I love commas,