Email & PunctuationBy: Julia VyseFor: Anyone Really
Punctuation guideThe following list is taken directly from JohnScalzi’s blog. I did not create it in any way,except to copy it verbatim and change theformatting a little.Everything after punctuation – email onward, isdirectly from me.~ citations are important
Punctuation – quick & dirtyPeriods: When you’re writing down a thought and you’re at the end of thatthought, put a period.Commas: When you’re writing down a thought and you want to take a breath,whether mental or physical, put in a comma.Semi-colon: Put these in your writing in the place where, in conversation,you’d arch your eyebrow or make some other sort of physical gesture signalingthat you want to emphasize a point.Colon: Use when you want to make an example of something: For example,just like this.Question Mark: Quite obviously, when you have a question.Exclamation point: When you’re really excited about something. You almostnever need to use more than one in a paragraph. Use more than one in asentence and you damn well better be using it for humorous and/or ironiceffect.Dashes: You can use these when you’ve already used a colon or a semi-colonin a sentence, but be aware that if you have more than one colon or semi-colonin a sentence, you’re probably doing something wrong.
Email – quick & dirtyNo formats or colours: don’t hurt my eyes with your words.Also, I’m reading this on a phone, so plain black and whiteplease.Use bullets: Chop up those ideas or actions so I can easilyrespond.Headings help: Use bold or underlines to make it easier toparse your epic tale of client feedback, meeting notes, whatever.Address your recipients: This is more about bolding and usingheadings. If your email goes to more than one person (@ccdoesn’t count) separate what you expect from each of them soit’s clear.Assume not all the email will be read: If only one bit of yourmagnum opus is about me, that’s the only part I’m reading.
Self Editing1. Take your sweet time2. Limit your first edit to major themes3. Then check for spelling & grammar4. Take it apart. Does it make the point you want to make? Does it answer the question?
Self EditingStart with a re-read.Say it out loud when you canCut and keep cutting