Discuss an experience where you have used or seen a wrong word in a communications document (letter or email) commenting about your feelings about the message as a result of the error.

COM 295 Week 2 Discussion Question Poor Word Choice

Name three methods you can employ to avoid a wrong word in your communications.

I have dealt with communications issues in which word choice causes people to misread the tone of a message. Many people today are not even aware of tone. Tone is an extremely vital component of the writing process. Authors who are unaware of their tone often turn away readers. The choices a writer makes in vocabulary and in being subjective can create tones that sound sarcastic or dull. An example of this tone can be seen in the way that something is stated.  I see this type of writing and tone problem at my work:

“Obviously we did the work, because it was turned in.”

“I sent the memo, did you get it, yet?”

These examples maker the writer sound mean. The loss of tone in writing has been, in part, due to the overuse of abbreviations and slang caused by electronic communications. Even though we may not mean to sound mean or sarcastic, when we write a message that is a single word response such as “And??” this message can be interpreted in this manner. Most people do not think of this because they are usually communicating with friends and in this instance tone becomes less important. We can eliminate this problem in many instances by writing messages out completely.


The seriousness of tone should not be diminished. I worked for a company where a person lost her job because she sent an email to a customer that sounded mean. Although she did not intentionally try to sound mean in the email the effect of tone offended the customer and a large sales account was lost. The worker was quickly terminated. This problem can be eliminated by checking messages and in some instances having someone look the message over.   Perhaps the most useful tool for correcting communication is simply practice and reading in order to develop a greater proficiency at writing.