You Rite Liek A Theef

I just took the McAffee SiteAdvisor Phishing Quiz. I got an 8 out of 10— go give it a try yourself! If you’re not familiar with the term yet, phishing is when crooks send people to bogus web pages disguised as banks, or credit card companies, or whatever, hoping to collect valuable information from them.

Anyway, as I reviewed the answers, I was interested to note how many of the tell-tale signs of a scam revolved around poor grammar and downright sloppiness. Things like, “missing a word,” “awkward phrasing,” “inconsistent capitilization and spelling”, and my personal favorite, “unnecessary exclamation point.”

Lo and behold, these are all things I’ve griped about before in student writing. Often, eyes are rolled, and the statement made (or implied), “Well, you know what I mean…”

Here’s a real-world example where “knowing what you mean” doesn’t cut it. The presentation of your message is often just as important as the message itself. Professionalism, attention to detail, and a certain level of facility of expression give the impression of stability and trust; something that’s lacking in the sometimes hastily-knocked-together decoy sites.

As you begin the school year, think about the difference that turning in assignments that project “stability and trust” might make on your grades. 😉 Take a little extra time to be professional and pay attention to the small stuff.