Proper punctuation is critical to create a good user experience, as well as maintain your credibility and your message.
Improper grammar and punctuation is a pet peeve of mine. It seems, so often now, that people just don’t care about either of those. I have to admit that when I was in school I hated my English classes. I didn’t understand why it was so important. But I did try to pay attention and learn. Now, many years later, I find myself cringing when I read comments on articles and blog posts around the net from people who don’t take the time to write properly (or at least make an attempt!). I am not perfect in my writing, but I cannot believe how many people do not even care.
There is a certain amount of credibility that you earn when you take time to write with proper grammar and punctuation. It helps people understand what you are trying to say. When you don’t use the rules when you write, it makes it very difficult to understand. I am one that believes it is up to the sender of the message to make sure the receiver understands the message. We cannot, as writers, in any format (article, blog, comments, texting, etc), leave it upon the receiver to interpret because THAT is when the message gets lost or misunderstood. Using proper grammar and punctuation removes some of the “interpretation obstacles”.
With spell check so easily available in most browsers now, it is disturbing to read misspelled words. However spell checker cannot also check context, so for example you can misuse the word “to”, “two” or “too” and spell check wouldn’t know. So if you are unsure which word to use (there or their, hear or here are other examples but there are many) look it up! It takes two seconds with the Internet at our very fingertips.
The one thing that is the most difficult in grasping is tone. Is the writer being humorous, serious, sarcastic, etc. Many of us who are sarcastic will include what we call the “sarcasm tag” which looks like this or at the beginning of our sarcastic comment and or at the end of our sarcastic comment so that readers will know we are being sarcastic. But sometimes that doesn’t even work because people are in such a hurry they don’t take the time to understand what they just read means. When you read something you don’t understand, use the Internet to learn! Copy and paste what you don’t understand into your favorite search engine. The hamsters running on the wheels that power the Internet will continue to run. And the monkeys will work diligently and fast to provide results to you! It’s really amazing simple to do, yet too many people don’t even make an effort.
Just because you are writing via social media like Facebook does not excuse you from writing properly. That is one of the most self-centered, ignorant arguments I have ever read from people who are too lazy to write properly: “It’s Facebook, I don’t have to use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.” Huh? Do you want me to read what you are writing? Do you want me to have an understanding of what you are saying? Do you want to be taken seriously, ever, as in when you actually NEED to be understood?
If you want to goof off every now and then on your social media, fine. But if writing without regard to the rules at all is your only way of writing, I think it’s disrespectful to readers that are trying to understand you. It really shows the degradation of society as whole because too many people just don’t care about any rules for anything anymore. But if you click the ezineartcles link at the top of this post, you can learn more rules for writing in English! That is, if you want to earn credibility and be understood. <–look it up if you don't get it.