Monday, June 23, 2014

Netiquette IQ - Avoiding Run-on Sentences in Emails

Emails are typically short or should be. When you have run-on sentences, it great diminishes you readability and clarity. Good Netiquette means good grammar. Watch your sentence length in every aspect of your emails!

Run-on sentences

        These are the opposite of sentence fragments. The basic attribute of the run-on sentence is that there are two or more complete, independent clauses that lack a separating comma, semicolon, or conjunction. This wordiness can cause confusion or the necessity to reread the information. Usually, this can be corrected by a simple insertion of correct punctuation marks or conjunctions.
        Some emails may be completely composed of a run-on sentence or sentences and can be most confusing, as shown in the following example:
The email will reach you soon kindly call after five minutes we can speak then.

The email will reach you soon; kindly call after five minutes, and we can speak then.

My email dated September 15 not only long and complex, but error ridden, perhaps not detailed but harsh in tone, cannot excuse the damage done to you perhaps but with this follow-up note we can have a fresh start as we do realize that compensation may be necessary.

The above run-on sentence comprises three independent sentences. These constitute an entire email and remove any reasonable, positive tone because of the confusion they create. It can be corrected as follows.

My email dated September 15 is not only long and complex and lacking detail but also error-ridden and harsh in tone; I cannot excuse the damage done to you. Perhaps with this follow-up note we can have a fresh start. We do realize that compensation may be necessary.

        The punctuation provided in the above paragraph provides far more clarity and a better positive tone. Netiquette always assumes good grammar, punctuation, and lucidity.
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