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Poor writing skills weren’t my fault this time

April 6, 2013

Now that AP style was well in hand, the rest of the world was supposed to follow suit. Right, and my name was the next to win the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. Great fairy tale. Tell me another one.

A while back, about two years ago, there was a piece written about honing my writing skill.  While the Atlanta, Georgia-based Examiner had noticed this in the last year and a half, the rest of the world should’ve  taken heed. Once in a while, it was noticed by me who wrote the event posted on the calendars. For example, a teacher or someone connected to the education field knew how to write the post so that everyone understood it. It was even better when they knew AP Style.

Last year, one of the local synagogues  had a Passover Sader in which they invited the Christian community.  It was nice not to have to correct anything because whoever wrote it knew about AP Style.  A lot of information about it was reduced to the  five W’s and the H:Who, What, When, Where,Why and How.  Now that the reading and arithmetic, two of the three R’s of education were well in hand for some, maybe  writing should’ve been focused on.

For me, seeing, a misspelled word, no capitalization, punctuationa fragment, comma splice, or run -on sentence was one of the cardinal sins of writing. The ironic thing was these writers either didn’t know basic grammar rules, or they knew but didn’t care because they weren’t in school. This comment was similar to what was heard by me  in high school from someone who used that same pathetic excuse for them not using proper English. One of the head writers in the writer’s group attended by me  in the early 1990’s, said her ears were boxed for using improper English. It was sad to hear that the school system had to except ebonics as a form of acceptable speech. While my brother got on to me for using that form, he allowed his eldest daughter  to speak that form and said nothing to her.

The biggest problem for some of the members in my Constitutional Law classes at MSU was that half of the class didn’t know how to write. That was the biggest complaint from the professor. All of the tests were essay questions, where one took a position and found evidence to support it in their essay, which had an introduction, body, and conclusion. People wrote like they spoke, sometimes having no type of organization.

The news spoke about the jobless rate getting worse. Perhaps people seeking work should’ve invested in basic  interviewing skills and on writing a resume, cover letter, and thank you letter after the initial interview.  When job hunting, the resume and cover letter were like a sales pitch for a job. If anything were out of place,  either no interview was scheduled or it was kept under ten minutes. This was a sign the position was filled elsewhere. Poor writing skills weren’t my fault this time. The carelessness was from other people.

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