Uncategorized | December 09, 2004

This will not come as news to many of our readers, those who suffer daily in the process of wading through incoherent electronic communications from otherwise intelligent friends and colleagues, but it appears that corporate America has finally recognized the language skills problems that mark a generation raised on the shorthand of instant messaging and e-mail. An article in the December 7 edition of The New York Times, “What Corporate America Can’t Build: A Sentence,” chronicles the problem and the growing effort to address it, as corporate managers and executives turn to writers and professors of writing for help, both for themselves and for their employees.

“It’s not that companies want to hire Tolstoy,” said Susan Traiman, a director at the Business Roundtable, an association of leading chief executives whose corporations were surveyed . . . . “But they need people who can write clearly, and many employees and applicants fall short of that standard.”

Of course, one shudders to think of the lengthy e-mails Tolstoy would have written had he been given the opportunity.