Home > Personal > On Typing Posh (and how ridiculous that sounds)

On Typing Posh (and how ridiculous that sounds)

Corbin Hiar blogged on moreintelligentlife.com that “proper, punctilious e-mails [go] to clients (or editors) and stream of conscious, lower-case lettered e-mails filled with abbrevs [go] to everyone else.” Later, he says that he “would rather devote more of [his] time keeping in contact with [his] far-flung colleagues  and friends than pondering the poshest phraseology.”

While I agree that business-related emails and the like should be more carefully crafted than emails addressed to friends and relatives, I have a problem with him calling proper, standard orthography “the poshest phraseology”. And whether or not he intended it to be that way, I take it to be somewhat offensive.

My writing tends to be of the stream-of-consciousness variety, too — and this may surprise you, but I don’t think in abbreviations. Do you? Who does? Probs the peeps whose speech is full of abbrevs, no? Like, totes! Yo Corbin Hiar, r U kidn me?

It’s not like typing every word in its entirety takes an incredibly huge chunk of time out of my life; nor does inserting proper punctuation. I understand writing with abbreviations, however, as I do when I take notes during a lecture — writing by hand takes a significantly larger amount of time than typing dies. Furthermore, it’s ridiculous to imply that all who use “the poshest phraseology” ponder it — even more ridiculous than using the term “posh” to describe it.

Look, it comes naturally for some, and not for others. We don’t all sit behind our computers and debate the use of a semi-colon for half an hour; either we know how to use it or we don’t. Those who don’t will, I would hope, look it up and then judge whether or not its use is appropriate in whatever sentence they are constructing.

It’s true, “Sincerity and regularity in correspondence is more important than the use of semicolons.” I won’t let the grammar nazi in me emerge and point out the flagrant mistake in the sentence quoted above, but I will say this: yes, sincerity and regularity in correspondence are important, but aren’t they both in vain if your message gets lost due to a missing or misplaced punctuation mark? Ever heard of the panda who eats shoots and leaves? People find it difficult enough to determine an email sender’s tone of voice; why not make our recipients’ lives a wee bit easier by helping them along? THE SAME WAY READING TEXT WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS MAKES US FEEL LIKE WE’RE BEING SCREAMED AT, reading text that doesn’t contain any punctuation marks may leave some of us gasping for air because I don’t know about anybody else but when I read something I hear a voice in my head usually it’s a male voice and not my own saying everything aloud.

So don’t hate; punctuate! Or don’t, but please quit calling it “posh” (if you met me, you’d understand. I’m not uptight, either, so don’t even go there).

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