Four Non-Obvious Writing Mistakes Every IT Professional Should Avoid
Techprohub is committed to helping IT decision makers and professionals get the latest research. But while you are learning and writing about advanced tech such as cloud computing, virtualization, mobility, and other emerging trends, did you know you could be doing it incorrectly? Just as a stray character can mess up an entire string of code, so too can a mistake in your writing. Below, we have gathered the top four mistakes IT professionals make when writing.
- Capitalization – It happens more often than you think. While certain IT terms mean everything in the business, they should not be capitalized unless they are proper names. For example, cloud computing is popular and Dropbox is a popular cloud tool, but cloud computing is never capitalized unless it part of a name like Smith Cloud Computing Solutions. Other capitalization mistakes include references to titles such as professional, director, president, etc. You may be an IT professional but never an IT Professional. If your job has a title, such as director or president, you may capitalize it when putting it before your name, such as Director of IT John Smith or President of the United States Barack Obama.
- Software Spelling – This one isn’t your entire fault, as many software and related tools often have oddly spelled names. For example, it’s Microsoft PowerPoint, not Power Point or Powerpoint. And it isn’t just Microsoft that does it. Every Apple tool that begins with an “i” always has only the second letter capitalized, as in iPad, iMac, iPod. If unsure on how to spell the software or other tool you are an expert in, simply visit the site of the maker to see how they spell it.
- Serial Comma – Often called the Oxford comma, it can be difficult to know when to put the last comma in a series of items. Is it “I like lions, tigers, and bears” or “lions, tigers and bears?” Technically, both are correct and often have to do with whichever region you are in. For example, if in New York, Boston, or other area of New England, the last comma in the sequence is left out. But if you live in the South or the West, it is left in. There is an element of confusion to leaving the last comma out which can make your reader think you like lions but only like tigers and bears when they are together. This is why IT pro’s should use the last comma, or Oxford comma. No matter which method you choose to go with, remember to be consistent or risk losing your audience.
- Not Knowing Your Audience – Remember that writing an inter-office memo is far different than writing a report for someone who might not be as learned in information technology as you. A good rule to remember is to spell out some of the terms that are most common to you such as domain name system and then put (DNS) after it. Now your reader will know what you are referring to without having to go back and check. However, using an acronym for more than two or three terms in one document can also be confusing, so choose wisely. If you are wondering if your writing would be confusing to a layman, ask one to read it before you hand it off to your supervisor.