Email Punctuation Pointers

Email Punctuation Pointers

Email Punctuation Pointers
When sending email messages, it’s easy to​ get in​ a​ hurry .​
But, remember there’s a​ huge difference between dashing off a​ note to​ a​ friend and sending a​ message to​ a​ customer or​ colleague .​

When sending email in​ a​ professional environment, the message should be professional .​
And, that includes using proper punctuation .​
(Phooey! You were hoping I’d say you could break all the rules, weren’t you?)
There is​ one area of​ email that gets a​ little foggy .​
This is​ the rule that deals with punctuation at​ the end of​ sentences (e.g., periods, question marks, exclamation points) .​

In typed letters, there are two spaces after the punctuation at​ the end of​ the sentence .​
This originated from typewriters, which needed this space to​ create a​ distinct break between two sentences .​
Computers allot space proportionally .​
So, a​ break can be created with only one space .​

In emails, you will see two different formats .​
Some people will use only one space after punctuation that ends a​ sentence .​
They will also use only one space after colons .​
Other people still use the two spaces .​

Those who prefer one space consider those who use two spaces to​ be old fashioned .​
Those who prefer two spaces consider those who use one space to​ not be conservative or​ professional enough.
The decision as​ to​ whether to​ use one space or​ two is​ entirely up to​ you .​
The only rule to​ follow is​ that you must be consistent .​
Either use one space throughout the message or​ two .​
Don’t mix and match .​

You want the message to​ appear as​ though you know the rules and made a​ conscious choice .​
You don’t want the message to​ look as​ though you have no idea what the rules are, so you just randomly added spacing.
While you may be able to​ choose one space or​ two, you don’t get to​ make choices about other punctuation .​
All of​ the other old rules are still in​ effect .​

In case I’ve whetted your appetite for more information on punctuation rules, here is​ another tip.
When do you use a​ comma to​ separate two thoughts in​ a​ sentence, and when don’t you? The quick answer is​ FANBOYS .​
This is​ an​ acronym which stands for the words:
• For
• And
• Nor
• But
• Or
• Yet
• So
When any of​ these words connect two independent clauses, you need a​ comma .​
That’s nice .​
Now, what in​ the world is​ an​ independent clause? It’s a​ phrase that can stand alone .​
In other words, it​ has a​ subject and a​ verb .​
It can be a​ complete sentence all by itself .​

For example – The conference call has been cancelled, and it​ will be re-scheduled next week.
A dependent clause cannot stand alone .​
It doesn’t contain both a​ subject and a​ verb .​
Therefore, it’s dependent on the rest of​ the sentence.
You don’t use a​ comma to​ connect a​ dependent clause to​ an​ independent clause .​
To say it​ more simply, if​ one of​ the phrases cannot stand alone (doesn’t have a​ subject and a​ verb), then you don’t need a​ comma.
For example – The conference call has been cancelled and will be re-scheduled next week.
Whether you’re ending a​ sentence or​ checking for FANBOYS, take the time to​ punctuate properly .​
Your customers and colleagues will respect you for it.

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