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10/15/2012

Why Grammar is Important

Let’s face it—grammar can be a drag. Just when you think you’ve mastered a rule, here come four or five exceptions to throw you off all over again. Guidelines seem arbitrary, rules seem inconsistent, and the whole endeavor seems vaguely pretentious.

Nonetheless, it matters. We have agreed as a society that writing and speaking a certain way signifies a level of intelligence and professionalism. People make judgments about us based on our command of the language and its rules. They decide whether to date us, hire us, take us seriously, work with us, and so on.

Is this fair? Not really. Just because someone is rusty on a few grammar rules most certainly does not mean he’s incompetent or unintelligent. A person who makes a minor error on a cover letter might still be the best person for the job, all things considered. But he probably won’t get it.

Whether we like it or not, correct grammar and clear writing are issues of respect. If we want to present ourselves as credible, professional, and competent, we need to demonstrate an awareness of the rules governing communication. Even more important, correct grammar helps us deliver our message with clarity, as opposed to the confusion that can come from improperly structured, badly punctuated sentences.

This doesn’t mean you need to be an overly-formal grammar robot. Prose can be grammatically correct, lively, casual, and engaging all at the same time. You can still write in a way that reflects your personality or your company’s ethos; this isn’t a question of tone. It’s about conveying yourself with authority and precision in order to inspire confidence in your reader.

You don’t need to be perfect. Even the most vigilant grammarian might make a mistake or overlook a typo now and then. But you do need to make an effort to express yourself in a way that demonstrates your professionalism, reflects your knowledge, and shows respect for your audience.

Posted by: ADMIN

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