~~Mark Twain (1835-1910)
On Friday, I had the fun and the privilege of speaking with a group of students in a (very prestigious) senior seminars class taught by a fabulous (friend) faculty member at Calvin. 50 minutes felt like five. It was quite fun.
All of the students were English majors, many an English + something (film, political science, IDIS). All noodling over what's next after college.
Curiously, one of the questions I received was about the process of writing. Is writing well a skill? I don't know that I answered that question as well as I could have. Good writing, effective communication, the ability to share simple, important, and complex thoughts, words, and concepts is so very much a skill - a skill in demand. Had I been thinking, I would have brought examples.
The world is full of ineffective communicators. Poor writers. REALLY bad writers. Awful grammar. Just ask Grammar Girl.
When I returned to my office, I had an email from a vendor. The subject line was this:
Here is the info we talked about or I left you a message
Several years ago, I received a resume and a cover letter that started like this:|
Call off the search! I have applied and I am your candidate!He wasn't our candidate and we did not call off the search. Why do people write these things?
The most important component of writing well is the ability for good punctuation to save lives.
'Nuff said. Yes, it is a skill. A good skill. A great skill. You have no context or idea of how many people CAN'T WRITE WELL. Or good. :) Now go forth, write well, and save some lives.