Sloppy writing suggests…

June 22nd, 2007 by k8gu Leave a reply »

“Sloppy writing suggests to the reader that you do sloppy work.” –Farzad Kamalabadi.

I read a lot of stuff, everything from research papers published in prestigious journals to posts on web boards.  Of course, I expect the “fine” work in journals to be well-written, and I’m not usually disappointed.  But, in my e-mail and on web boards, I see some pretty atrocious spelling, grammar, and organization.

Recently, I saw a post from a guy asking for advice on dismantling a 65-foot tower.  It lacked capitalization, uniform punctuation and spacing, and spell-checking.  He was immediately chided for these things.  He responded in somewhat of a fit of rage about being judged by his writing rather than receiving an answer to his (somewhat ill-posed) questions.  The whole thing erupted into a mini flame war, which completely obliterated any hope of learning on the part of the originator.

This was instructive, I thought.  Sloppy writing does indeed suggest to the reader that you do sloppy work.  Of all activities, there is no room for slop in tower work.  I wouldn’t give him advice, either.