The recent/ongoing office refurb has displaced lots of stuff which I've decided to put on Freecyle. As usual, there has been a frenzy of replies from people willing to take our surplus to requirements stuff off our hands.
This is all good, as they are mostly extremely pleasant people, who turn up on time to collect what they've asked for, and are very pleased with their items.
When trawling through the dozens of responses from eager and hopeful fellow Freecyclers, I can't help being annoyed by the sloppy approach to the written word in general, and spelling and punctuation in particular.
'Textspeak' seems to have escaped from the confines of the mobile phone world and is infecting every sphere of writing.
For example, one of the responses I received today, requesting a digital camera (elderly and obsolete but fully functional, not unlike me in fact, except for the fully functional bit), consisted of a single line
if u still hav it i wud lik it (followed by a mobile phone number)
There are many, many things wrong with this as a request for something which someone is offering for free.
I'll start with the complete lack of punctuation. None whatsoever. No capitalisation. No full stop.
Then there's the spelling, about which the least said the better. I have nothing against the odd misspelled word or typo, nestling within an otherwise acceptable email. But deliberately bad spelling just gets my goat.
Then there's the complete lack of common courtesy. No salutation. No please or thank you. No signature.
Finally there is the ubiquitous mobile phone number. This is where the red mist descends.
If I am offering an item via Freecycle, I DO NOT expect to have to call a mobile phone in order to discuss collection arrangements. I would not even expect to have to call a landline.
In my opinion, arrangements should either be made via email, or if necessary, whoever wants what I have should call ME! I am always happy to supply my landline number, especially if someone is coming a reasonable distance and may need to phone for directions.
So far today three lovely people have turned up on time to collect stuff, having made all the necessary arrangements in a few brief emails.
More people are scheduled to collect stuff tomorrow. All of these people had written proper emails, properly laid out, grammatically correct and immaculately spelt.
The rubbish requests were deleted instantly. I find it an excellent way to cull and whittle down the mass of Freecycle requests.
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