Full sentences. They’re underrated. If, like me, you receive many tersely-worded emails—an inevitable result of the txt generation—you make know that disoriented feeling of not knowing what’s being said. Sure, in caveman grunt style, you get the gist, but what of the tone, the context, or the art of polite human conversation? Some colleagues think me quaint for beginning each email with a greeting, followed by a body, and a closing. I try to articulate the purpose of my communication using full sentences, often explaining why I’m asking. Sometimes I ask questions. Sometimes multiple questions. When I get an answer answer stating just “Yes” am I to assume that’s to all of the questions? What if one of them didn’t accept a “yes or no” answer?
Scientists often suggest that it’s our ability to communicate vocally that set us on a different evolutionary track from other animals. Our large brains, we’re told, were to accommodate the complexities of speech and the abstract thought that followed it. Seems a pity that now that we communicate constantly we seem to have lost the ability. Well, not so much lost it as have allowed ourselves to be completely distracted. I get busyness. There are times when new emails arrive every few seconds and everyone wants an answer. At those times I try to envision the half glasses and green eyeshades of a telegraph operator. Dots and dashes and a good deal of waiting and still business got done. And I wonder what this cryptic email before me, not even a full sentence, was meant to convey.
Cave-dwellers, I imagine, had some pretty vital information to communicate. Things like, “I just saw a cave-bear go in there, I’d avoid that place if I were you,” or “Do you think that saber-tooth cat looks hungry?” The more precision they could put on their grunts the better advantage they would have. Syntax wasn’t invented for the fun of it. And yet, here we are. No time. Full sentences might serve to avoid confusion and mistakes. None of us would have these jobs had we not the ability to communicate. Would you apply for a job using anything less than full sentences? In our rush to be more efficient we create situations where more information will be required further down the line. A pity. If we’d only take the time. You know.