How often do you have to write formally and with proper grammar at your current job?

By: | Post date: December 28, 2015 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Personal

I’ve switched careers from being a humanities academic to being a business analyst. Currently I’m more a data analyst with a sideline in IT architecture and policy. The clarification is important, because business analysts are more human-facing than data analysts.

I switched from natively writing in Dickensian paragraphs, to natively writing in dot points. My audience would much rather read something created in Powerpoint, than something created in Word. I learned that there was not that much point correcting simple spelling mistakes from colleagues (though that’s not as much of an issue in my current position!) I relearned something I had learned before linguistics, when I was interning as an engineer: I am writing for people who would rather not be reading what I am writing, so I don’t get points for eloquence or cleverness—just concision.

I still happen to write formally, because of my training (although I use less semicolons than I used to); but I notice that few of my colleagues or their bosses bother. I have one boss who is a stickler for formal (and impersonal) tone, but I strongly suspect this is a generational thing. In fact, I’ve been in the middle of an edit war between bosses on formal tone of a document. I like the subjunctive, but have found that it outright confuses colleagues; then again, the subjunctive is now mostly an American affectation in the Commonwealth.

All that said, precision is valued in my job, so “proper grammar” is appreciated.

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