Last week, my Facebook feed BLEW UP with people sharing some article about how we should– scratch that– we NEED to eliminate the word “just” from our emails and writing.
Another post flittered my way that lamented the overuse (and misuse) of ellipses.
These pieces are really nothing new. It seems there’s constantly someone out there telling us what we’re doing or saying wrong. Not long ago, I learned that a paragraph that contains more than three sentences is too long by today’s standards. Really?
The word “that” is something at which we should sneer. Modifiers and “soft” punctuation are merely superfluous and signs of a weak writer.
Over and over and OVER again, I saw comments on Facebook reading “guilty.” Person after person shamefully revealed that, yes, she used the word “just” in her writing.
And I just sat there thinking to myself… “and, so?”
I don’t know… maybe I’m just crazy. (<– Do you see what I did there?) I just don’t think that people need to feel like they must cater their writing to fit one specific audience.
It doesn’t matter how many times I read suggestions and assertions to, “Stop with the soft language! Be direct!” The reality is this– when *I* read emails lacking softness and gentle transitions? My back goes up.
Here’s a real life example for you–
Our middle child takes horseback riding lessons. From time to time, I receive an email from their, I don’t know, marketing coordinator or what-not. And here’s what I will tell you with no hesitation: every time– EVERY TIME– I get one of these emails? I get annoyed. I read it to my husband and ask, “can you BELIEVE her abrasive tone? There’s a much nicer way to say that!!!”
And, because he has a different personality type from mine, he just shrugs and says, “It doesn’t bother me. It’s brief and to-the-point.”
He’s right. It IS brief and to-the-point. And perhaps that’s super appealing for some people. I get that.
But here’s the flip-side–
It is NOT super appealing to all people. Some of us like the sweetly delivered, “Just wondering if you might be able to join us, say, Monday? Or even Tuesday… just let me know!” over the straight up, “Let me know if you can join us on Monday or Tuesday.”
There’s nothing wrong with the second. I’m not claiming there is.
But you know what?
There’s also nothing wrong with the first.
That’s really what I want to say.
Just be you and know that there really are some of us out here who enjoy your words… just the way they are.