Punctuation: The Roadmap for Clear Writing


Posted By Steve Snow | May 16, 2014


Have you ever driven cross-country? How hard would it be to get from L.A. to NYC if there were no road signs or highway markings? There’s no telling where you might end up!

Punctuation is the roadmap that helps readers navigate from point-A to point-B in your sales proposals and sales correspondence. 

Punctuation is the roadmap to help readers in your sales proposals

Consider these two passages: original copy, and the same content with edited punctuation.

Original: Once future dated wire transfers have been input into the wire transfer system and have been approved for release by a designated authorized user, the wire transfer will sit in the future dated queue until the assigned effective date at which time the items will be released as part of our start of day process in the wire room.

Revision: When we input future-dated wire transfers into our system, and an authorized user approves their release, the transfers will sit in the future-dated queue until the assigned effective-date. At that time, we release the items as part of our wire room’s start-of-day process.

The point: adding two commas, five hyphens and one period (plus deleting a few words) is easy to do, but makes all the difference in readability and comprehension. Proper punctuation makes your sales messages easier to read and understand. Poor punctuation leaves potential customers confused, and perhaps even irritated.

Punctuation - writing tipsFor a fun read, pick up a copy of Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss.

Yes, a book about punctuation can actually be entertaining!

Think you might need some help creating well written sales and marketing content for your organization?

Qvidian offers document audits, customized writing workshops and content development services. Ask your account manager for details.