Posts Tagged ‘Grammar’

LSW 7: Campus Dining at The University of West Georgia

My authentic client is The Den which is located downtown at Columbus State University’s Riverpark Campus; henceforth CSU. For my second organization to analyze, I chose the University of West Georgia; henceforth UWG. This school is an excellent example as their Foodservices Department is identical to CSU’s; both are operated by Aramark, the global professional services corporation. Like CSU, the Auxiliary Services Department oversees the foodservices operator. This is pertinent information. After a long and exhaustive internet search, I discovered that UWG’s Auxiliary Services Department Facebook and Twitter pages are where social media posts related to campus dining are located; they seemed hidden. The importance of food to college students is legendary. Frankly, this discovery left me scratching my head.

The Facebook posts attempted to completely cover the Auxiliary Services Department. A strategy that lacked clear focus, and made the page seem like a catch-all. I could see that UWG did care about the traditional components of grammar in writing. The university’s posts were properly worded, punctuated, and expressed a complete thought. Basically, the few students that seemed to be aware of the dining hall posts used a combination of proper grammar and text-speak. Students tended to stay more conservative with the occasion emoticon or acronym. The posts made by UWG strive to inform the student body by including details about upcoming events, recipes, surveys, and questionnaires. I could not find evidence of the entertaining component of Orsburn’s social media equation. As far as the converting to business component, in this situation, it is a moot point; residential student customers are forced to purchase a meal plan.

I am leaving this investigation better informed but concerned. After comparing my authentic client, The Den at CSU, to UGA’s Bull Dawg Dining (LSW 6), and UWG, I discovered that only UGA’s Foodservices has an effective social media plan. An interesting fact to note, UGA is the only school amongst these three that insources campus dining; and they are obviously proud enough of their Food Services to advertise through social media.
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How Important is Grammar to Social Media Marketing?

February 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Social media has infinitely expanded the way language is used.  More than ever before, social media provides businesses the opportunity to join the online conversation and speak to the world.  As exciting as this opportunity is, before jumping straight into the conversation, businesses must first decide exactly how they want to present themselves.  For everyone, grammar seems to be a large part of the decision making process.  Since the world of social media is filled with jargon, text speak, emoticons, acronyms, odd grammatical substitutions and errors, the world of language can be quite confusing. 


Social media’s unique use of language creates an opportunity for the business to decide how it wants to be viewed within the context of the online conversation.  At this point it is important to note an important fact; social media’s free form language is not generally appropriate for businesses.  For the potential customer, the type of language a business uses can be a good indicator of the company’s operational standards.


On, in her February 7, 2013 article, “Social Media Grammar Gaffes:  How to Embarrass Yourself Online-Part 2,” Amanda Clark writes about this very subject.  Amanda is surprised at the number of people that willingly massacre the English language on social media.  Additionally, she thinks the annihilations are due to people who are not proofreading or not caring.  She might be right, but no matter what, as the business world embraces social media, customers deserve a concise, properly spelled and punctuated answer.  Business relationships are fostered and grown on clarity, concision and trust.  Using proper grammar not only helps a business to say what it means it also shows customers that your business is serious about its business. 


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Acceptable and Unacceptable Grammar Usage on Social Media Platforms

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment

When I first started using social media, I for one was definitely confused by the commonly used grammar seen on my picture below including “omg, smh, lol, ftw.” I was able to pick up “omg”(oh my gosh), lol (laugh out loud), but it took me a little longer to figure out smh (shaking my head) and I had no idea what “ftw” (for the win) was until I asked fellow classmate Sara just recently. Thus, I would have to agree that acronyms and abbreviations are acceptable, especially in regards to Twitter since individuals are only allowed to post 140 characters per tweet.

However, I would have to say as an English major but a fellow social media user some conventions will never be okay to me. For instance, I hate leaving out words. My post must be in complete sentences at all times. In addition, I hate it when facebook users write in all caps; it makes me feel as if people are yelling at me. And in regards to punctuation, I would prefer if individuals would still use apostrophes and commas appropriately. What’s the point in making a post if I’m so distracted by your poor grammar that I miss the importance of the post?

Thus, generally speaking social media seems to have its own language making some acceptations to break the rules usually followed for grammar. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that what you post or tweet should never break so many rules that it is no longer understandable.

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Categories: Mary Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jargon > Slang

February 12, 2013 1 comment

There are acceptable and unacceptable conventions of grammar, mechanics, and punctuation when using social media as a business tool. These rules can be a little tricky, because they may vary from one SM platform to another. For example one would want to use standard proper english grammar and punctuation on Facebook (excluding slogans etc…) but Twitter is a different animal. Twitter only allows 140 characters per Tweet, so shorting words and using abbreviations would be more acceptable in trying to stay within the maximum characters. That being said different SM platforms have different jargon and lingo that is accepted. This is NOT the same as using slang terms. Using slang terms that aren’t accepted amongst the general public are unacceptable. There are some times where it is okay to get creative in diction (word choice), syntax (how words are placed in a sentence), and word construction. Times such as creating creative and catchy slogans, motto’s, jingles, etc… that is meant to catch the audience’s attentions through creative short creative bits. If a company is just putting out statements and longer advertisements, then they should stick to proper grammar. So in short, there is a time and place for the use of jargon, but take heed with caution because overuse could cause the business to look childish, unprofessional, and uneducated.

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You Gotta Know When to Hold ‘Em: How to Break the Right Rules in Social Media

February 12, 2013 1 comment

Appropriate grammar, mechanics, and punctuation will get you many places in life.  It’ll help you get an “A” on your giant research paper.  It’ll gain you respect among professional colleagues.  But when it comes to social media and image branding, sometimes the best thing to do with a rule is break it.

I am loving it.

I am loving it.

Do you have milk?

Do you have milk?

The skill lies in knowing when and how.

In “Style, Lessons in Clarity and Grace”, Joseph M. Williams offers some tips about using correct grammar, saying, “If you try to obey all the rules all the time, you risk becoming so obsessed with rules that you tie yourself in knots… The alternative to blind obedience is selective observance” (p. 14).

Social media is a great experimental platform when it comes to language usage.  It’s a world of casual expression, so casual grammar is appropriate more often than not, even for professionals.  However, there are still some rules that, if broken, won’t demonstrate style so much as lack of education.  This article offers a great list of grammatical rules that should never be broken in social media.

So.  Learn the rules.  And break a few choice ones for tasteful effect. This is the best way to apply grammar, mechanics, and punctuation in the social media realm.

Williams, Joseph . Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. 10th ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2007. Print.

Categories: Christina Tags: , ,

Adjusting your Grammar and Rhetoric to your Agenda

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment

I believe that the correct usage of grammar and mechanics is always important when addressing an audience by way of a public outlet; however, the most important things to observe that dictate one’s message are the audience and the message, itself. It is a common assumption that Facebook and Twitter accept more unconventional styles of grammar, such as emoticons, acronyms, and the lack of punctuation, while professional sites such as LinkedIn require the use of proper grammar, spellings, and punctuation. I would argue that even on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it is always important to pay attention to the way in which you present your message. If you deliver a message that is on a level of importance to you, your audience will be more willing to take it seriously if they can see that it was written with care. Your rhetoric, punctuation, grammar, etc. will convey the level of care that you have for your message. Proper mechanics also reveal your intelligence to your audience, making your arguments more believable and credible. In Shain E. Thomas’ article, “Social Media Should not Hinder Writing,” he quotes Charlotte Hogg ,who supports this argument, asserting that “For many, proper or conventional grammar is a sign that the person is taking care with their message for their audience, and so it’s important to know when to write more casually for social networking and when to follow the traditional conventions of Standard English.” However, professional sites like Linked In, I will argue, do not always have to follow conventional grammar codes. For instance, if you are interested in obtaining a job with creating web pages, it is important that you illustrate to your audience (or potential employer) your knowledge of HTML codes and computer lingo. The same can be said for any field in which you need to display your knowledge that cannot be illustrated using traditional grammar. Conclusively, I believe that both writing in conventional grammar code and in unconventional ways, such as using computer lingo, are acceptable. However, the most important thing to remember when deciphering between the two is your audience and your message.

“Social Media Should not Hinder Writing” 

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Categories: Haley Tags: , , ,