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Times are tough in this economy.  A huge chunk of the American workforce is either unemployed or underemployed, and thus looking for work.  It makes for stressful times.  It is difficult to even get a foot in the door because there are so many others trying to do it at the same time for the same position.

That’s why I am daily amazed at the growing lack of professionalism that I have witnessed in recent years.

The inability, or unwillingness, to address issues or even write simple e-mails in a thoughtful and professional manner seems to be a growing trend.  Communications are often rife with short, choppy fragments or terse wording that, whether intended or not, comes across as confrontational.

Is it that we have lost the ability to write and speak in a manner that is civil, contextually appropriate, and grammatically sound?  Have we been reduced to speaking and writing in short, often snippy, fragmented bullet points rather than complete sentences with thought behind them?

I understand that in this world getting things done quickly is often more important than being sure that the message being sent is an sppropriately professional one.  However, decorum and the like are not things we should consider lost arts in the era of speed.  And the ability to craft communication, written or spoken, that is free of fragments and implied attitude should not be a victim of the PowePoint era.

Perhaps I am so sensitive because I enjoy the art of writing so much.  But there are moments when I truly wonder what people are thinking when they send some of the mails I receive.



  1. Next time I teach a college course, I’m including an “email etiquette guide” on the last page. Every day I get at least one email without a salutation, without a signature, and with at least two typos. My students also don’t reply to say “thank you” or “got it” when I send them information. It’s driving me NUTS.

    • It drives me absolutely crazy as well. I have seen e-mail communications that are worded so badly and are so fragmeneted that they come off completely nasty and unprofessional even when I know they were not meant that way. If I had been on the receiving end I would have been insulted. People really need to get their heads straight and get back to basic writing skills.

  2. I am in total agreement. I know that proper courtesy and grammar, as well as correct spellings, well though out sentences were what contributed to my acquiring a job so recently after having been severed from my previous place of employment. The common courtesy to send a thank you email after having an interview can go a long way. I am a trainer/educator by profession, mostly call center environments, but one of the things I include with all my classes is basic email etiquette techniques.

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