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Choosing a writing style depends on what you’re doing and who you’re interacting with. In some ways, it’s like choosing an outfit. There’s nothing wrong with a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. It’s a great choice if you’re meeting a friend for a casual lunch. But if you’re on your way to something fancy, you’re expected to dress up.

There are situations that call for a more formal writing style, too. Academic papers, business documents, and job applications tend to fall into this category, while an email to a personal friend is likelier to be casual and conversational.

Grammarly Premium allows you to specify the writing style you’re aiming for and customize the types of suggestions you see. If you’re writing a novel and you’ve decided to use lots of sentence fragments to create a particular feel, choose Casual or Creative to avoid seeing alerts about incomplete sentences. If you’re working on a formal document for work, choose Business to make sure all every who and whom is used properly.

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Here are the writing styles settings Grammarly offers, in order of most formal to least formal:

Academic

Choose Academic if you want Grammarly’s strictest and most formal feedback. The Academic setting flags contractions, informal pronouns, and unclear antecedents.

Business

The Business style setting checks your text against formal writing criteria but is slightly more relaxed than Academic. It will still flag the passive voice and who/whom, but will ignore some informal expressions, informal pronouns, and unclear antecedents.

General

General is Grammarly’s default style and uses a medium level of strictness. Choose this setting if you’re not sure what style to use.

Technical

The purpose of this style is to avoid ambiguities in technical writing. The Technical setting will flag things that might be unclear in a technical document, like the use of future tense.

Casual

The Casual setting is for informal types of writing. Choose this if you don’t want Grammarly to flag contractions, the passive voice, informal pronouns, split infinitives, or run-on sentences.

Creative

The Creative setting catches grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes but allows some leeway for those who want to intentionally bend grammar rules to achieve certain effects. Creative doesn’t flag sentence fragments (missing subjects or verbs), wordy sentences, colloquialisms, informal pronouns, passive voice, incomplete comparisons, or run-on sentences.

To select a writing style, open a new or existing document in the Grammarly Editor. Open the writing assistant and click Goals. Select your preferred style from the dropdown menu next to Domain.

To select a writing style while you’re using the Grammarly browser extension, click the green G icon in the lower right corner of your text field. Click Set Goals and choose the style you want from the dropdown menu next to Domain.

More from Grammarly Spotlight:

How to Fix Sentence Fragments

Eliminating Eggcorns

Why We’re Great on LinkedIn

Learning From Your Mistakes

How To Preserve Formatting in the Grammarly Editor

How To Add New Words to Your Personal Dictionary

How To Learn New Words While Writing

How Do Grammarly’s Products Work?

Why Concise Writing Gets More Readers

Why Hedging Language Undermines Your Writing

How to Select Your English Dialect

Splitting Paragraphs for Easier Reading

How We Use AI to Enhance Your Writing

The post How to Choose the Right Document Type for Everything You Write | Grammarly Spotlight appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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Few things can tarnish your professional brand quite like a poorly written, misguided email. One click of the “send” button can be the difference between a successful business exchange and a potential HR issue or coworker conflict. And while Americans send hundreds of thousands of emails a day, it should not be taken for granted.

Whether you’re a senior professional or an office newbie, here are 13 must-remember dos and don’ts of business email etiquette.

Do Pay Attention to The Subject Line

Write a clear, concise subject line that reflects the body of the email. Avoid subject lines with general words like, “Hi,” “Touching Base,” or “FYI,” and do not leave the subject line blank.

Do Use a Proper Salutation

“Hi” and “Hey” communicate a lack of professionalism and maturity. Begin your email with phrases such as “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” “Good evening,” or “Hello.” “Good day” or “Greetings” are other phrases used frequently in the international arena.

Do Use an Introduction

In cultures like the U.S., the best practice is for the sender to introduce themselves by first and last name with some background information in the first few lines. For example, “Dear Ms. Mandell: My name is Sharon Schweitzer, founder of Access to Culture. I was referred to you by . . .” or “My name is Sharon Schweitzer and I am an International Business Expert writing to you about . . .” This is especially important when introducing yourself to new contacts, potential customers, clients, and employers who want to know how you received their contact information.

Do Know The Culture

When sending emails to people from indirect cultures, it is proper protocol and a best practice to research country customs. For example, in Japan, it is polite, appropriate, and customary to inquire about the weather in the first sentence of a business email. Contrastingly, it would be inappropriate to send an email introducing yourself to a potential Japanese contact. In indirect cultures, introductions are only made by mutually respected third parties due to custom; cold emails are ignored, deleted, blocked, and/or marked as junk.

Don’t Include Humor and Sarcasm

Emails can easily be misinterpreted through text without context. Humor is culture-specific. Avoid both humor and sarcasm in emails as the recipient may be confused, or worse, offended.

Do Double-Check Your Attachments

When you attach a file, be kind enough to take a few extra seconds to paste it into the body of the email as well. This shows consideration to the recipient, by saving them time and risk in opening attachments. Is this more time consuming for you? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes.

Don’t Hit “Reply All”

Avoid using “Reply All” unless everyone needs to know. When the C-Suite (CEO/COO) or administrative assistant sends an email to 10 staff members requesting volunteers for a community service project, reply to the admin, not to all 10 members. Why make ten others delete your email? Reply All is a function for ongoing deliberations on a particular subject.

Do Reply Expediently

Replying within 24 hours is common courtesy. Leave someone hanging for any longer and you are not only perceived as rude—it could cost you business in the long run. If you’ve unintentionally kept someone waiting longer than 24 hours or extenuating circumstances arose, politely explain the situation and express your apologies.

Don’t Use Emojis

Those little winking, smiling icons are for text messages. They are inappropriate and unprofessional in a business email. Emoticons may divert emails to a spam filter or junk mailbox, and it can look immature and unprofessional.

Do Protect Privacy

Email is public. Even though an email is deleted, online services and software programs can access messages on the hard drive. Before you click “send,” consider what may happen if a business colleague, your competitor, an employer, the FBI, or any unintended recipient reads your email. Think of it this way: How would my email look if it were posted on Facebook?

Don’t Be Negative

It’s inappropriate to email negative comments. An email in all uppercase letters connotes anger in an email. These antagonistic messages cause awkwardness long after the email has been sent and received. If you must relay bad news via email, use objective words and state the facts. Face-to-face communication is best when relaying bad news.

Do Proofread

Check and recheck for spelling and grammatical errors. These errors make you seem unprofessional and will reduce the likelihood that the email will be taken seriously. Email software comes with many professional tools such as spell check—use them.

Don’t Forget the Conversation Closer

By letting the recipient know that a response isn’t needed, the email cycle doesn’t continue on in perpetuity. Close with “No reply necessary,” “Thank you again,” “See you at the board meeting Tuesday” or “Please let me know if I may be of further assistance.” End your email with a closing such as “Best,” “Best Regards,” “Sincerely,” “Thank you” or another appropriate phrase.

The post The Dos and Don’ts of Business Email Etiquette appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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Grammarly Blog by Celeste Mora - 5d ago

One in five adults in the US* experiences mental illness each year.

It’s likely that someone in your life—whether they’re in your meeting, on your basketball team, or in your family—is probably managing a mental illness right now. That person could also be you.

If you’re dealing with a mental illness, the first step is to ask for help. There are some resources linked below that can help you find more formal types of support.

*Please note that the resources shared here are mostly focused in the United States. To find mental health resources in other areas, please use this list.

In addition to finding more professional help, you might be interested in reaching out to your network of friends and loved ones for support. But how do you approach that conversation?

Asking for Help Isn’t Easy

It’s helpful to start by recognizing the feelings an ask for support can bring up. Reaching out to people, even people you trust, is difficult. Because of the stigma surrounding mental health, admitting you may need help emotionally can seem impossible. Even though there is stigma associated with seeking support, don’t let this deter you. Remember that asking for help is a brave act of self-care. You can do this.

Breaking into a conversation about your needs might not be easy, especially if you’re not usually vulnerable with the people in your life. You may be concerned that you’ll scare them, or they’ll think differently of you, or they won’t understand why you need support. These are all normal feelings. In fact, they’re so commonplace that Scientific American lists “loneliness” as a major health factor affecting Americans. 

“A recent study found that a staggering 47 percent of Americans often feel alone, left out and lacking meaningful connection with others. This is true for all ages, from teenagers to older adults.”

By reaching out to someone you trust, you’re engaging in a conversation that is a brave first step in the fight against loneliness. Here’s how you can do it.

But You Can Shape the Conversation

Setting up a comfortable conversation can put you and the person you’re asking for help at ease. Try to pick a setting where you feel safe, at a time when you know you’ll be able to devote a few minutes to describing your needs. You may also want to jot down your thoughts in advance. Even if you don’t bring the paper with you, knowing what you’re going to say might give you more confidence to say it.

When you ask your loved one for help, you’ll need to describe two things:

1. What’s going on with you right now

2. How you would like this person to support you

If you can’t answer these questions, you can still reach out. The loved one you’re chatting with might be able to help you clarify them, or they might point you to resources that could help, like those we’ve linked below.

Finding the words to ask for help can feel impossible. To start the conversation, you can try any of these phrases.

1  I know I haven’t been as [chatty, available to hang out, excited about an activity] lately. That’s because I’ve been dealing with [a description of your current situation]. Would you be able to help me [a specific description of the support you’d like from this person]?

If you know what’s going on and need to tell someone else, this is a great option. You can start the conversation with something you’ve missed, didn’t enjoy, or couldn’t participate in like you normally would, then describe where you’re at mentally. Try to end with a specific description of the help you need from the person. (And if you don’t know, that’s okay! You can always say something like “I know I need support, but I don’t know where to start. Could you help me figure that out?”)

2 I haven’t told you this, but I’ve had [a description of your mental illness] for [the length of time you’ve known about it]. This can cause me to be [the symptoms you’re dealing with now], which can make it difficult to do all the things I want to do. Could you make sure I [a description of one step this person could take to help you]?

If you’ve had a diagnosed mental illness for a while, this option might fit your needs better. You can explain how this illness affects your life (so your loved one doesn’t make assumptions about your needs), then describe the help you’d like from them.

3  I know you’ve offered to help me with [a past obstacle, loss, or crisis] in the past. Thank you for doing that. Would you mind supporting me by [a specific action they can take to support you] while I deal with [your current situation] now? 

Sometimes, the best way in is through a memory. Does the person you’re chatting with remember when your dog passed away, when you lost your job, or when you last had a mental health crisis? Reference it, so they can understand the severity of what’s happening with you now. 

These are all ideas to help you get the support you want from the people you trust. If you have another method that’s worked for you in the past, please share it in the comments below.

The post How to Ask for Help appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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When (and How) to Use ‘Wish You All the Best’

You’re looking for a way to end a letter with a warm—but not overly warm—closing. You want to let your friend know, as she sets out on a new adventure, that you hope she has the best possible experience.

You might sign your letter with a friendly send-off: “Wish you all the best.”

But when else is it suitable to use this sign-off? And how do you know when this closing is better than using “Warm regards” or another similar phrase?

First, let’s examine the root of this closing: the longer, complete sentence, “I wish you all the best of luck.”

Distinguishing Between ‘All the Best’ and ‘Best of Luck’

Over the years, we’ve become less verbose when writing messages. We’re used to communicating in fast, instantaneous, and oftentimes incomplete sentences in our texts, emails, and tweets.

In the spirit of brevity, the sign-off, “I wish you all the best of luck,” has been shortened to two distinct closings that we now use interchangeably:

  • “All the best”
  • “Best of luck”

While “All the best” may seem like a generic, farewell closing and “Best of luck” might refer to something more specific, it’s unlikely anyone would find fault with either phrase. Both are merely ellipses of the longer sentence that unites the two:

  • I wish you all the best of luck.
  • I wish you all the best of luck.

So, What’s the Best Context to Use the Phrase?

Since “Wish you all the best” can work in a variety of ways—shorter or longer, formally or informally—it’s up to you to determine if it’s the right closing for your letter.

When weighing your options, you can also look at this list of common closings, ranging from very warm (1) to very formal (10).

  1. Affectionately yours,
  2. Warmly,
  3. Warm regards,
  4. Warm wishes,
  5. Best wishes,
  6. With thanks,
  7. Kind regards,
  8. Best regards,
  9. Sincerely,
  10. Respectfully,

As you can see, “Wish you all the best” combines two of the closings near the middle of this list, making it a great compromise of formal and warm.

Here are some common scenarios when “Wish you all the best” is appropriate:

  • When your neighbor is graduating from dental school
  • When your colleague is leaving your company for a new position
  • When your college roommate gets married

As long as you are wishing your recipient the best in their future, it’s acceptable to use the phrase both as a universal sendoff and as a more personalized ending.

No matter which sendoff you go for, your closing should reflect your writing style, relationship with the recipient and, of course, the content of your letter.

How have you used “Wish you all the best” before? Comment your exemplary sendoffs when you are sending along well-wishes below.

 

The post When and How to Use “Wish You All the Best” appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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We tend to think about writing mechanics like spelling and punctuation in terms of rules. There’s a right way and wrong way to write everything—isn’t there?

Well, no. English is full of gray areas where there’s no single “right” way. There’s no real difference between 9 a.m. and 9 AM (even if you had a teacher or boss with extremely strong personal feelings about it). But if neither one is wrong, how do you decide which variant to use?

We’re delighted to tell you that you can use whichever variant you like best. What you really need to pay attention to is consistency—picking one style and sticking to it throughout your document. To help you out, Grammarly Premium can now help you catch inconsistencies in spelling, punctuation, and formatting throughout a piece of text in the Grammarly Editor.

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Why does consistency matter?

If U.S. and US are both acceptable abbreviations for the United States, why does it matter if you write U.S. in one part of your document and US in another? There are two big advantages to being consistent with the variants you use.

1. If you pick a style and stick to it, you’ll make things easier on yourself. If you decide from the beginning to write all acronyms without periods, you won’t have to keep stopping to make a decision about periods every time you write an acronym.

2. Consistency makes your document look more polished and professional. Switching back and forth between various styles and formats can come across as sloppy to readers. This is why some companies require employees to follow a particular style guide, like the Chicago Manual or the AP Stylebook.

How does Grammarly help?

When you’re writing in the Grammarly Editor, Grammarly Premium’s new consistency checks will alert you when they detect multiple variants or styles within the same document. They’ll even ask you which style you want to use and allow you to apply it throughout your document with a single click. Read on for a few examples.

Dates

There are a lot of options when it comes to formatting dates: November 3, November 3rd, Nov. 3, 3 November—the list goes on. Grammarly lets you standardize the way dates appear everywhere in your document.

Inconsistent: Applications are due July 10th, and we’ll make a decision by 25 Aug.

Consistent: Applications are due July 10th, and we’ll make a decision by August 25th.

Consistent: Applications are due 10 Jul, and we’ll make a decision by 25 Aug.

Capitalization

If you’ve decided to capitalize (or lowercase) a particular term, it’s important to do so consistently. Grammarly helps you find all uses of words with this treatment and lets you easily apply consistent capitalization. But unlike a simple find and replace function, Grammarly can take context into account. That means you won’t end up with a lowercase word at the beginning of a sentence.

Inconsistent: Office life was different before the Internet. Education has changed because of the internet, too.

Consistent: Office life was different before the internet. Education has changed because of the internet, too.

Consistent: Office life was different before the Internet. Education has changed because of the Internet, too.

Spelling

When you can spell the same word multiple ways, it can be hard to choose one spelling and stick to it, especially if you don’t really have a strong preference. Now Grammarly can help you keep track!

Inconsistent:  Public wifi is convenient, but it’s always safer to use a password-protected WiFi network.

Consistent: Public wifi is convenient, but it’s always safer to use a password-protected wifi network.

Consistent: Public WiFi is convenient, but it’s always safer to use a password-protected WiFi network.

Hyphens

It’s not just you—hyphens are tricky beasts. Should it be co-worker or coworker? They’re both acceptable, and now Grammarly will let you pick a style with a single click.

Inconsistent: Please log in with your e-mail address and password. If there’s a problem, you can email our IT manager.

Consistent: Please log in with your email address and password. If there’s a problem, you can email our IT manager.

Consistent: Please log in with your e-mail address and password. If there’s a problem, you can e-mail our IT manager.

Acronyms

Keep your acronyms styled consistently—with or without periods—throughout your document.

Inconsistent: The book goes on sale March 1 in the U.S. and March 15 in the UK.

Consistent: The book goes on sale March 1 in the US and March 15 in the UK.

Consistent: The book goes on sale March 1 in the U.S. and March 15 in the U.K.

More from Grammarly Spotlight:

When (and How) to Fix Sentence Fragments

Eliminating Eggcorns

Why We’re Great on LinkedIn

Learning From Your Mistakes

How To Preserve Formatting in the Grammarly Editor

How To Add New Words to Your Personal Dictionary

How To Learn New Words While Writing

How Do Grammarly’s Products Work?

Why Concise Writing Gets More Readers

Why Hedging Language Undermines Your Writing

How to Select Your English Dialect

Splitting Paragraphs for Easier Reading

How We Use AI to Enhance Your Writing

The post Why Consistency Is Key to Your Writing | Grammarly Spotlight appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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Self-care can feel unattainable, expensive, and like a fad that you just don’t have enough time for.


Yet all of us need to look after ourselves, and despite what the glossy ads and Instagram posts would have us believe, self-care includes the most basic of tasks. And the best thing is, many of them are free and can be implemented into even the busiest of days.

Here are five ways you can get your daily dose of self-care (with not a scented candle or face mask in sight):

No phone zone

It’s all too tempting to begin the morning scrolling through social media, checking emails and getting your brain racing before your feet have even touched the floor. I’m as attached to my phone as the next person, but starting some mornings away from the screen, delaying the influx of information and having a more mindful start can leave you less frantic and more relaxed for the rest of the day.

Say “No”



I’m a self-confessed people pleaser so I know that this one can take a bit of practice! 
It’s all too easy to take on too much in an effort to keep everyone happy. But then the to-do list spirals out of control, you get run down, and before you know it, there’s no room for looking after yourself.

It might feel as though you’re letting people down, but it’s vital to make sure you value your time and health.

Get outside



Go for a stroll in the park, have a cup of coffee sitting in the garden, walk or ride your bike instead of driving to work. There are lots of opportunities to get moving a little more and to enjoy some fresh air, all of which can improve your mood and add a bit more “me” time into our overloaded lives.

Ask for help

Hands up if you hate admitting you need help! 
Something in me fights hard against asking for assistance. There’s the loss of control, the panic at looking like I don’t have it together, the stress at articulating my need for a helping hand. 
Yet, what’s actually worse than all of these things is struggling on without help, feeling swamped, and continually running on empty.

Ask for what you need, let people in, and allow them to support you. Sometimes self-care means accepting we can’t do it all, and that is totally 100% okay.

Sleep

It’s so tempting to stay up watching just one more episode on Netflix, or to quickly check your notifications before bed—and then still be wide awake an hour later.
 Of course, technology isn’t the only sleep-stealer, children have a knack for becoming nocturnal as soon as they sense you’ve got your pajamas on. But sleep is so important for physical and mental wellbeing. It’s a great way to look after yourself a little more. 
Note the things that are in your control and create a good bedtime routine to give you the very best chance of getting a good night’s rest. 
No screens before bed, reading to relax before you settle down for the night, using aromatherapy balms or pillow sprays, and aiming for an early bedtime can all help.

Self-care isn’t just for other people, or selfish, or a trendy hashtag. It’s making sure to acknowledge that our mental health matters. It’s lots of little things we can all try and do to implement positive changes, whatever our resources—one small win at a time.

The post 5 Small Self-Care Wins You Can Achieve Today appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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“You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

Have you heard this idiom before? If you have, you might recognize its message: “You’ll convince more people of your point if you’re nice.” It seems like a harmless piece of parental wisdom, but it’s actually a large part of tone policing—an Internet derailment tactic that focuses on tone in writing rather than argument.

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What is Tone Policing?

According to Dictionary.com, who added “tone policing” to their site earlier this month, tone policing is

“A conversational tactic that dismisses the ideas being communicated when they are perceived to be delivered in an angry, frustrated, sad, fearful, or otherwise emotionally charged manner.”

In essence, this means that tone policing is a strategy some people may employ when debating others, especially online. It calls out the tone of the message, especially if it conveys strong emotions, rather than the logic of the argument. It’s a classic logical fallacy that uses an ad hominem—an attack on the person making the argument, rather than the argument itself.

You’ve probably seen tone policing (also known as “the tone argument”) on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. In some well-moderated communities, ad hominem attacks like this will be called out and/or prohibited. On unregulated platforms like Twitter, however, tone policing can run rampant, resulting in “clapbacks” based on tone rather than substance.

Is Tone Policing Controversial?

Although the ad hominem attack is a well-established logical fallacy, tone policing as is a relatively new concept. According to Google Trends, use of the term started to gain popularity in early 2013 and reached an all-time high in August 2015, when Nicki Minaj delivered her oft-memed “What’s good” callout.

The bounds of tone policing are inconsistent at best, unless you belong to a community that has defined discussion guidelines. Depending on where you comment online, anything from commenting on profanity to the use of caps lock could be considered tone policing. Many communities feel that tone policing can be used to silence members with less power than others. According to Bailey Poland’s Haters, tone policing can be used to create a “double standard,” where one group is able to express themselves forcefully comment (in her view, men online), and another is consistently policed for the delivery of their messages. This has also been noted by several cultural communities, who see tone policing as a form of oppression.

Most major social networks agree that violent speech, including hate speech and direct threats, are unacceptable ad hominem attacks. This means that responding to the hate speech used in an argument is generally not considered tone policing on these platforms. Many even have reporting mechanisms designed to keep users safe from these, although not all social media users agree that they are necessary or work as intended. But aside from hate speech, there is little agreement across communities about what tone policing looks like.

What do you consider tone policing? We would love to hear your thoughts on this controversial topic, so please comment below!

The post Tone Policing: What Is It and Why Does the Internet Dislike It? appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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You’ve probably received a few rude text messages in your life—or perhaps even realized only too late that you committed a texting faux pas yourself.

Alas, proper texting etiquette isn’t always obvious. We’re here to help. What follows are a few quick guidelines to help make sure those messaging manners are on point. First, let’s address one of the biggest sources of stress and confusion in all of texting:

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When is it acceptable to take your sweet time to reply?

An anxiety-inducing but widespread claim online is that the average text response time is 90 seconds—but there’s reason to be skeptical. Many places repeating this factoid vaguely cite a wireless industry trade association as their source, but when I contacted them to fact check, that organization’s research team was unsure as to the claim’s basis or origin.

Okay, so maybe the average isn’t 90 seconds. Maybe a non-response officially becomes rude after 20 minutes. That’s what some folks took from a 2018 study by Google, but it’s not exactly what the researchers wrote. Rather, they said the people they studied “felt pressure to respond immediately or within a reasonable amount of time, typically between 20 minutes to the end of that day, to avoid breaking etiquette and offending the sender.”

So how quickly should you answer texts? The answer might seem like a maddeningly subjective “it depends,” but we have a few texting rules that can help clarify, starting with:

1 Text unto others as you would have them text unto you.

This goes for content as well as timing. If you’d feel weird getting a dancing hot dog sticker from your boss or a John Cena GIF from your mom, don’t send them one. If you’re not sure where the boundaries are, consider the perspective of the person you’re texting.

Consider also whoever you’re texting near:

2 Mind your surroundings.

Wordlessly pulling out your phone to field a text in the middle of a face-to-face conversation tends to read as “I don’t care much about this interaction.” Likewise, texting at the movies is a nonverbal invitation for strangers to hiss at you. And the reasons to avoid doing so while driving extend far beyond decorum, but you get the idea.

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3 Slow replies can be rude, but double texting is sometimes worse.

The asynchronous nature of texting—that you don’t have to drop what you’re doing and reply this second—is part of its appeal. You’re texting so as to be unobtrusive, right?

Say you text a colleague to ask an after-hours work question. They might love to give you a quick reply, but they might also be reading their kid a bedtime story—in which case texting them again a few minutes later is not a kind look. In this example, the breach of etiquette comes not from the lack of immediate response but from the seeming demand for one.

Exceptions to this rule exist, but many are hectic and raise this question: why not talk on the phone?

4 Not everything should be said via text.

If a dog has done something amusing on the internet, please text me the link. If your car just got rear-ended, maybe call me instead. If someone in the family’s water broke and you’re headed to the hospital, a phone call is warranted, but if you just need a copy of Aunt Kate’s recipe for lemon bars, texting is preferable.

Oh, and if you’re ending a relationship, doing it via text decidedly sends a message, albeit not a sympathetic one.

5 Not every text merits a response immediately. Or maybe ever.

There are three arguments here. First, some messages don’t necessitate a reply. (“I’m on my way” and “sorry, I’m running a few minutes late” are fine examples.)

Secondly, some replies take time, like when you need to check your calendar, bank account, or horoscope before responding to an invitation. That said, to be polite, it might be worthwhile to dash off some quick variant of “Let me get back to you” while you’re deciding.

Lastly, expecting instantaneous responses will make you crazy any time one is not forthcoming. Breathe. Your phone will most likely buzz again soon enough.

The post Texting Etiquette: A Brief Guide to Polite Messaging appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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You’ve probably received a few rude text messages in your life—or perhaps even realized only too late that you committed a texting faux pas yourself.

Alas, proper texting etiquette isn’t always obvious. We’re here to help. What follows are a few quick guidelines to help make sure those messaging manners are on point. First, let’s address one of the biggest sources of stress and confusion in all of texting:

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When is it acceptable to take your sweet time to reply?

An anxiety-inducing but widespread claim online is that the average text response time is 90 seconds—but there’s reason to be skeptical. Many places repeating this factoid vaguely cite a wireless industry trade association as their source, but when I contacted them to fact check, that organization’s research team was unsure as to the claim’s basis or origin.

Okay, so maybe the average isn’t 90 seconds. Maybe a non-response officially becomes rude after 20 minutes. That’s what some folks took from a 2018 study by Google, but it’s not exactly what the researchers wrote. Rather, they said the people they studied “felt pressure to respond immediately or within a reasonable amount of time, typically between 20 minutes to the end of that day, to avoid breaking etiquette and offending the sender.”

So how quickly should you answer texts? The answer might seem like a maddeningly subjective “it depends,” but we have a few texting rules that can help clarify, starting with:

1 Text unto others as you would have them text unto you.

This goes for content as well as timing. If you’d feel weird getting a dancing hot dog sticker from your boss or a John Cena GIF from your mom, don’t send them one. If you’re not sure where the boundaries are, consider the perspective of the person you’re texting.

Consider also whoever you’re texting near:

2 Mind your surroundings.

Wordlessly pulling out your phone to field a text in the middle of a face-to-face conversation tends to read as “I don’t care much about this interaction.” Likewise, texting at the movies is a nonverbal invitation for strangers to hiss at you. And the reasons to avoid doing so while driving extend far beyond decorum, but you get the idea.

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3 Slow replies can be rude, but double texting is sometimes worse.

The asynchronous nature of texting—that you don’t have to drop what you’re doing and reply this second—is part of its appeal. You’re texting so as to be unobtrusive, right?

Say you text a colleague to ask an after-hours work question. They might love to give you a quick reply, but they might also be reading their kid a bedtime story—in which case texting them again a few minutes later is not a kind look. In this example, the breach of etiquette comes not from the lack of immediate response but from the seeming demand for one.

Exceptions to this rule exist, but many are hectic and raise this question: why not talk on the phone?

4 Not everything should be said via text.

If a dog has done something amusing on the internet, please text me the link. If your car just got rear-ended, maybe call me instead. If someone in the family’s water broke and you’re headed to the hospital, a phone call is warranted, but if you just need a copy of Aunt Kate’s recipe for lemon bars, texting is preferable.

Oh, and if you’re ending a relationship, doing it via text decidedly sends a message, albeit not a sympathetic one.

5 Not every text merits a response immediately. Or maybe ever.

There are three arguments here. First, some messages don’t necessitate a reply. (“I’m on my way” and “sorry, I’m running a few minutes late” are fine examples.)

Secondly, some replies take time, like when you need to check your calendar, bank account, or horoscope before responding to an invitation. That said, to be polite, it might be worthwhile to dash off some quick variant of “Let me get back to you” while you’re deciding.

Lastly, expecting instantaneous responses will make you crazy any time one is not forthcoming. Breathe. Your phone will most likely buzz again soon enough.

The post Texting Etiquette: A Brief Guide to Polite Messaging appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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Considering moving overseas to gain some international work experience? In today’s global economy, companies provide plenty of opportunities to work abroad. International work experience is seen as a valuable asset to have on your CV or résumé, especially if you have strong business English skills.

However, before accepting that offer and putting your signature down on the contract, there are a couple of things worth thinking through before you accept a new job abroad.

1. Legal stuff—Visa, work permit, and any other paperwork  

If you need a working visa, make sure you get it sorted out as soon as possible. Usually your employer will support you throughout the process. However, there are plenty of documents to prepare from your side too, such as résumés, criminal record checks, and so on.

It’s good to make sure you fully understand the rights and limitations associated with the type of visa you’ll be issued. For example, some visas do not allow you to change jobs for a certain period of time. Find out what happens if your employer terminates your contract: Are you obliged to leave immediately or do have the right to stay in the country to look for another job. If yes, then for how long?

Working regulations vary from country to country and can be rather complex, so if you’re not sure, it might be worth getting professional advice from an immigration lawyer. The investment will pay off and save you time, money, and nerves. Government websites such as www.gov.ukwww.usa.gov, and www.australia.gov.au can also offer advice and guidance on the legal side of things.

2. Do the math—Expected salary, taxes, and cost of living

Even though your salary abroad might be higher than what you were or could be getting at home, it is important to take into consideration tax deductions and living costs. First, find out exactly how much you are going to receive after taxes. Then research accommodation, transportation, and food prices. This will give you an idea of what lifestyle you will be able to afford after the relocation.

Don’t forget about relocation costs. Will you need to move any of your stuff abroad or get things for the new home? If you already have a job offer, check with your future employer to see if they offer a relocation allowance to help you cover the costs.

3. Working conditions—Hours, holidays, and health insurance

Working hours and holiday allowance might also differ from what you were used to in your home country. For example, in the USA standard working week is 40 hours long, and workers take on average only 10 days of paid leave per year, while in the UK, employees work 35-37 hours per week, and a minimum 28 days of holiday allowance is enforced by law.

Health insurance is a significant factor as well since medical bills tend to be quite costly almost universally. Check whether your employer contributes towards health insurance, or consider getting international insurance if you are planning to move first and then look for a job.

4. Can you handle it?—Culture shock

Immersing yourself into a new culture is exciting, but trying to fit in with unfamiliar cultural expectations, traditions, and way of life can be quite challenging. Be open-minded and curious, and make sure you’re not spending all of your time in the office. Get the best out of what the new country has to offer—go to concerts and exhibitions, explore local galleries and museums, discover new foods, and travel on the weekends. Keep the bigger picture and main reasons why you moved abroad in mind, and it will help you to get through the adaptation period.

5. Keeping in touch with your roots—Family and friends

Moving abroad is a big decision, which certainly affects everyone in your family. Both travel distance and associated costs will affect how often you will be able to visit your parents, or if they will be able to come visit you. Think about emergency situations—in an event of poor health, is there somebody to take care of your parents or other close relatives? If you are in a relationship, consider the effects long distance might have on it if your partner is not planning to relocate with you.

Remember, the more research you do in advance, the smoother your transition will go. Don’t let the challenges put you off—after all, living and working abroad is an amazing experience and an adventure worth embracing!  

The post 5 Things to Consider When Deciding to Work Abroad appeared first on Grammarly Blog.

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