When I was a college student, one of my journalism professors at Ohio University, Dr. Ralph Izard, used to always say, “You write like you speak so it is my mission to make sure the two match up when you are communicating with the public.” I never gave those comments much thought at the time but as my career began to take off, I remembered how those words came back to the forefront of my mind. And it is even more relevant now that I work as a writing consultant for college students.
Yes, we do write like we speak. I see and hear it day in and day out in working with these young in young adults who will eventually graduate (hopefully) and make their mark on the world. My mission is to help them get ready for the business world because it is imperative if you’re a professional that you are able to articulate your thoughts and ideas with clarity, both verbally and in written form.
The problem is many people have a weak vocabulary bank and make very few deposits to increase its value. VOCABULARY MATTERS.
The next time you have a conversation with someone, listen to yourself. REALLY LISTEN TO YOURSELF. Are your words riddled with space filler words and phrases such as “like”, “um”. “you know”, “uh”, “you know what I mean”, “what had happened was”, “you see”, “for real”, etc.
Now some might argue that writing the way you speak is foolish advise. Maybe the problem isn’t writing the way you speak. Maybe the problem is you just don’t talk well enough. VOCABULARY MATTERS.