By John William Myers IV
I get it. I’m a rule follower, so it’s kind of natural for me to care about punctuation, grammar and good writing. Grammar Nazi, Punctuation Police and other not so nice names get lobbed at me, but I only correct as a point of learning. I’m not trying to pretend to my co-workers, friends, or family that I’m smarter than they are, and I apologize to anyone who may be offended at my nudging. I have people correct me sometimes, and I honestly appreciate it. It’s how we learn. We are in a funny, transitional time with our language, and the rules that dictate communication are being dragged down the relaxation path towards anarchy. To that point, when my dad was in college he wore a tie to class. Twenty-seven years later, I wore jeans and a t-shirt. It has been twenty-four years since I started college, and I commute daily past the College of Charleston and see many people wearing pajamas. Not the sexy kind either but rather the Snuggie-style fleece pants with a sweatshirt. I shake my head in regret, much like I’m sure my father did at my Levi’s.
Maybe I should loosen my idea of good written communication. I think about this, and then I remember that I am a project manager by profession. I deal in clear, concise communication. Mistakes can be made and money and time can be lost over misplaced commas, dangling modifiers, and ambiguity. I received an email from a co-worker recently that I read five times before I thought I knew what he was talking about. I did what he asked, only to have him call me laughing about why I ordered what I did. It was actually a missing comma that caused the error and he acknowledged how it could have been read incorrectly. In grad school I took a class in professional communication that taught me the onus of message meaning was on the sender, not the receiver. So, I’m going to dust off my grammar books, proofread my emails before sending, and continue to correct my co-workers, friends, and family. I always thought my dad was just jealous that I could wear jeans to class. Maybe he was just sad to see how casual my generation approached higher learning. I don’t always wear a tie to work. Sometimes, I wear jeans, but I have never thought to wear pajamas. Until I start seeing pajamas at work I’m going to keep fighting the grammar fight. So call me names if you like but just make sure you punctuate your sentences correctly. On Facebook I’m a member of the group Punctuation Kills and our motto is: There is a difference between let’s go eat Grandma and let’s go eat, Grandma.
JOHN MYERS, PRESSQUE’S QUALITY ASSURANCE EDITOR AND PROOFREADER
John has over twenty years of operations, project management, and corporate development experience. Currently, he’s the Director of Business Development/Program Management for CodeLynx, a defense contractor specializing in Physical and Logical Security. Previously, John was the Vice President, Operations for Etix.com, and Intelli-Mark Technologies, an Internet-based technology company utilizing barcode technology. As one of the founding employees of Etix.com, John helped the company grow from five employees in one office to a company with over 3000 clients in sixteen countries with gross revenues in excess of $171 million and offices in the Netherlands, Germany, China, and Japan. In his role, Mr. Myers was responsible for domestic and global operations development, client services, and operational project management. Mr. Myers has a BA in Managerial Economics and German from Hampden-Sydney College, an MBA with distinction from The Citadel and a master’s certificate in Project Management from Boston University. Mr. Myers is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, International Business Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi, Academic Honor Society.