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Common Grammar Mistakes Part 3 of 5

Common Grammar Mistakes

Part 3 of 5

Instant Messenger and Texting Language in Writing

As you continue to write your Great American novel and you are so excited about this work, that often you slip into the common IM and texting language while you are writing. I have seen so many people who write novels and stories do this.

I have done it myself. Each week I email the parents of the my girl scout troop. I have started the emails like this: “Hi. Hope ur doing well this wk. R next meetng is on Mon. @ 7”. Holy crackers! That is horrible. I am so used to typing in an IM in an informal way, that it slips into my every day use. This happens to a lot of people. My college professors used to cringe when certain students would hand in their work because they knew that it was full of what I can IM shorthand. I have been resistant to using it in the pass because I think that it reflects laziness in the writer.

When this IM language starts to make it into your every day writing you are need to assess what you are truly trying to say and find a way to get yourself out of that mode while you are doing some writing that you hope to have published. If there is a valid point with having LOL, BRB, L8R in your writing the IM language will be fine. For instance you are writing a novel about teenagers and you are trying to show the IM conversation between them. If you are writing a novel like Pride and Prejudice then the IM language needs to take a vacation.

To help get yourself into mode of not using IM shorthand, you need to first remind yourself that if you would not use it in a business setting, then it probably should not be used in your novel unless it meets certain criteria in terms of fitting into the story. Also be sure that you are not using shortened sentences. For instance when I am IM-ing with my cousin, I tend to leave off the “I” at the beginning of any sentence when I am talking about myself.


Cousin: So what did you do today?

Me: Baked a cake and folded clothes. You?

That is an incomplete sentence, but since I am so used to writing in this style, I have found that it tends to slip into my writing without warning. I have to make an effort to stop myself from doing the same thing when I writing a business letter or professional email. I have seen several emails where I tend to roll my eyes because I see a lot of people slip into this.

Remember that the use of this language tends to reflect laziness as a writer and when you are truly passionate about writing, you need to stay away from IM-ease as much as possible. It will make your writing smoother and your editor happier. 🙂


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