And then there’s punctuation.

Ah, the age-old question every student asks his or her high school English teacher at some point: Does anyone really care about proper grammar and punctuation? Okay, so you probably didn’t ask that exact question, but you likely asked a version of it, right?

I would argue that proper grammar and punctuation are more important than ever, especially in today’s world of rapid-fire communication that uses an abundance of abbreviations, acronyms and practically no punctuation.

Look at the following example, perhaps a text from a hungry young son to his mother:

“Let’s go eat Mom!” vs. “Let’s go eat, Mom!”

Yikes! The first text is a bit concerning. I might consider calling a family therapist who specializes in treating children with cannibalistic tendencies. The second text would get me on Yelp looking for recommendations for kid-friendly dinner spots with quick service.

The example may be a bit simplistic and improbable, but it shows why punctuation is important. Just like words, punctuation can change the entire meaning of a sentence. And just like misusing words, improper or missing punctuation affects how people interpret communication.

In a business setting, a communication riddled with poor grammar and punctuation brings into question the knowledge and credibility of the sender. No one wants his or her idea to be passed over or thrown out because of a missing comma. Whether you’re posting on Facebook, tweeting, writing a caption on Instagram or Pinterest or simply sending a text or an old-fashioned e-mail, take the extra 60 seconds to review your writing before hitting “enter” or “send.” That last review could save you from a session with a therapist.

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