“Text” Talk

Sometimes in life you only get one shot and it is crucial to make a positive first impression. Over breakfast not too long ago, a CEO we all admire and have a great deal of respect for, showed us (a team of CEOs) an email she got from a young lady who wanted to be mentored.
This was the young lady’s email:

hi madam
I am a young lady who have a first degree in social work major n psychology minor. I have alwalys loved to be an investment banker, an insurer n also to learn more abt the stock industry. The reason why i want u to be mentoring me is that u are the most successful person i know, i admire ur confident level n also admire where u have gotten to in ur career level n wish to be there someday with ur help n even go beyond that. I really appreciate u alot n looking forward to have u as my mentor,,,,,,,,,,,thanks

Did you find anything wrong with this email? If you found nothing wrong, please read again because you could be doing the same and shooting yourself in the foot.

Computer Keyboard Sadly, as the CEO of SPEC Consult Limited, I get similar emails regularly and I will point out three disadvantages of writing emails of this kind.

In this girl’s case she will:

• Miss the opportunity to be mentored by one of the best brains on the continent and the world.
• Possibly miss out on current and future job opportunities or recommendations
• Lose credibility as a graduate

The problem of short cut and text message language has gradually crept into most people’s everyday vocabulary. This is very wrong.
It is bad enough some people cannot spell, or write bad and unprofessional letters. But to make up your own words and think it is okay to email professionals with it is inappropriate because:

•They not your friends and especially, using salutations such as hi and hello, when you have never met them is bad
•They did not write that way to get to where they are. They still use words that can be found in the dictionary and quite frankly there is nothing professional, “cool” or modern about that kind of language

You might think it is okay with your friends. You casually ask them, “how are U?” Or “how r u?” Then “Thanks” becomes “thnx” or “fanks”.

See more of the text language wrongfully used in serious communication:

dis =This
n =And
dey r=They are
thru=through / true
netwrk wit ppl=network with people
dem =them
bn =been
Shortcuts in writing have come to stay for some people, but a boundary line has to be drawn. At SPEC Consult we will set an example by not encouraging that style of writing. When we say “your global training starts here and now” we do mean it. To encourage it means it is okay and it is not. It is far from our ideals of training people to be globally marketable.

We have researched online forums and social media sites of some international companies, magazines and their related social media platforms such as their Facebook pages and we do not see such horrific shortcuts on Forbes, Time Magazine, Fortune, Newsweek, Huffington Post, New York Times etc Serious people looking to make their point avoid that kind of language.

As global training consultants we get to train and develop people for personal and career development. We advice that you avoid such language in your professional conversations before you ruin your career opportunities. A stitch in time saves nine.


5 thoughts on ““Text” Talk

  1. Most people often don’t realise they are “Text Talking” in a situation where they should be formal, because they are used to the short words. A disease they get infected with through social media. That doesnt mean to say social media is bad. I used to do it too. When I realised how it getting I switched back to “full words”. They make ur “speeches” longer but wont kill you.

    I’m still wondering if that lady read through her mail before hitting send. Or could it be that she was not
    aware of the situation at hand ?

    • Well said Nii and thank you for stopping by.It is such a dangerous trap most people set for themselves.
      The lady in question either didn’t know ,which is sad considering she is a graduate and to lack a sense of self awareness at that stage of one’s life is sad. It could well be ,she doesn’t pay attention to details and hence takes things for granted.
      Great to know you have stopped(well almost ,as you wrote “ur ” instead of your 🙂 ) Old habits die hard. 🙂

      • 🙂
        Thanks for pointing that out.
        A little more of formal communication and self awareness will hopefully get me there.

  2. Thank you very much for this advise. It is indeed true that most of us young people make this mistake and sadly,some of us do not even realise it. I would thus advise that young people should as much as possible, be conscious of what and how we write and most importantly, the purpose of writing. This, I believe, will go a long way to curb this problem.

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