Why Good Grammar Matters

35
Posted July 26, 2012 by Marcy Farrey in Building Your Brand

Grammar: some of us are good at it, while others need a little more practice remembering the rules.  As a former journalist and now a writing graduate student, good grammar has always been a must.  If I lacked grammatical skills, finding a job would be nearly impossible.  But after interning in several different offices, I’m surprised by the number of bosses who have said, “We really need a grammar guru on staff.”

There seems to be a misconception that good grammar only matters if you are a writer.  Some people think good grammar doesn’t apply to e-mails, Facebook posts or text messages.  But grammar is not becoming less important to managers or potential clients — it’s actually becoming more important in the digital age.  The CEO of iFixit and founder of Dozuki, Kyle Wiens, says he won’t hire anyone who uses poor grammar, including web programmers.  Every employee who works for him takes a grammar test:

Yes, language is constantly changing, but that doesn’t make grammar unimportant.  Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet.  In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have.  They are a projection of you in your physical absence.  And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can’t tell the difference between their, there, and they’re.”

So why does it matter if a graphic designer or web programmer has good grammar, when most likely they’d just be sending e-mails?  According to Wiens, good grammar says a lot about who you are and what you pay attention to:

I hire people who care about those details.  Applicants who don’t think writing is important are likely to think lots of other (important) things also aren’t important.  And I guarantee that even if other companies aren’t issuing grammar tests, they pay attention to sloppy mistakes on resumes.  After all, sloppy is as sloppy does.”

All of us can understand the occasional slip on an e-mail or web post, but when it comes to your resume and communication with major clients, take some time to read over your work.  If you’re someone who works in a creative industry and uses social media to build a platform, make sure what you’re posting adequately reflects your attention to detail.  In a competitive job market, the little things matter.

I wasn’t always great with grammar and sometimes I still make mistakes.  Fortunately, I’ve spent six years in school studying grammar, so I’ve had practice.  If you need to brush up on your skills, there are plenty of textbooks and college courses out there that can help.  I keep all of my undergraduate and graduate grammar and style books near my desk.  My favorites are A Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker and Rhetorical Grammar by Martha Kolln and Loretta Gray.  If you don’t have a book nearby and are not sure about something, try searching it on Google.  There are a lot of great grammar sites out there, like Grammar Girl.

Grammar doesn’t need to be your strongest skill, but you shouldn’t ignore it and hope it won’t ever be an issue.  Even with technological advances, we have to write to communicate, and to communicate well you have to write well.  Just as you should present your best self in your appearance and speech, you should present your best self in your writing.

To hear more of how a CEO feels about grammar, read Mr. Wiens full blog post on the importance of good grammar.


About the Author

Marcy Farrey

Marcy Farrey is a videographer, writer, and editor. In her previous life, she worked as a broadcast news reporter and producer in Lincoln, Nebraska and as a writer and producer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University. Learn more about Marcy on her website www.marcyfarrey.com.

35 Comments


  1.  

    Hey there terrific website! Does running a blog such
    as this require a large amount of work? I’ve virtually no expertise in coding however I had been hoping
    to start my own blog soon. Anyways, should you
    have any recommendations or techniques for
    new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject
    nevertheless I just needed to ask. Kudos!




  2.  

    Good article! We will be linking to this particularly
    great post on our website. Keep up the great writing.




  3.  

    This means you will only get third party liability coverage.

    Multiple sites online can give you many different prices and insurance agents to choose from
    when you are in need of insurance or thinking about
    changing insurance companies altogether.
    Passenger cars and lightweight trucks accounted for nearly 95 % of the eleven million vehicles involved with car crashes in 2004.




  4.  

    It is actually a great and helpful piece
    of information. I’m glad that you just shared this helpful info
    with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.




  5.  

    My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different web address and thought I
    may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.

    Look forward to checking out your web page for a second time.




  6.  

    I just could not go away your web site before
    suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard info a person supply to your visitors?
    Is gonna be back frequently in order to investigate cross-check new posts




  7.  

    Thank you for every other great article. The place else may anybody get that type
    of information in such a perfect way of writing?
    I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the
    search for such info.




  8.  

    Hi there this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you
    have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I
    wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!




  9.  

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.

    The problem is an issue that not enough folks are
    speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.




  10.  

    Excellent blog you have here but I was curious if you knew of any message boards that
    cover the same topics discussed in this article?
    I’d really love to be a part of group where I can
    get responses from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.

    If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank
    you!




  11.  

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you
    could be giving us something informative to read?




  12.  

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did
    you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from.

    many thanks




  13.  

    Hi there! This article could not be written much better!
    Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a great read. Thanks for sharing!




  14.  

    What’s up to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this web page,
    and your views are good for new viewers.




  15.  

    I’m really loving the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any
    browser compatibility issues? A number of my blog visitors have
    complained about my site not operating correctly in
    Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any tips to help
    fix this issue?




  16.  

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to
    say excellent blog!




  17.  

    Its such as you learn my mind! You appear to know a lot approximately this, like you wrote the guide in it or something.
    I believe that you could do with a few percent to force the
    message home a bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog.
    A great read. I will certainly be back.




  18.  

    Hello! Quick question that’s completely off
    topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

    My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to
    find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this issue.
    If you have any recommendations, please share. Appreciate
    it!




  19.  

    Hi there, its pleasant piece of writing on the topic of media print, we all be familiar with media is
    a fantastic source of facts.




  20.  

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what
    all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost
    a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy
    so I’m not 100% positive. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers




  21.  

    Tremendous things here. I’m very happy to see your article.
    Thank you a lot and I am taking a look forward to contact
    you. Will you please drop me a mail?




  22.  

    I’ve been browsing online more than three hours as
    of late, but I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty price sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent
    content material as you did, the web will probably be a lot more
    helpful than ever before.




  23.  

    Have fun at Thanksgiving, because you might not see Christmas.

    Years ago it would have been simple enough for a beginner
    to put on a piece of bread paste, or dig up a worm and use that.
    Impress Your Family and Friends With Exact Replicas of The Following Recipes:.




  24.  

    Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually recognise what you are speaking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Kindly also talk over with my site =). We may have a link alternate contract between us




  25.  

    I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.

    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over that you wish be delivering
    the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often
    inside case you shield this increase.




  26.  

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well
    written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to
    read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.




  27.  
    car

    To prevent frizz you must start at the very beginning, in the shower, then continue with drying, and styling.

    You don’t want to turn your shoulders at a steeper angle.
    “Oh this kid screaming, why can’t the parent do something about it.




  28.  

    Hello, yeah this post is really good and I have learned lot of things from it about blogging.
    thanks.




  29.  

    You can definitely see your skills in the work you write.
    The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid
    to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.




  30.  

    Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was
    curious about your situation; we have developed some nice procedures and we are
    looking to trade methods with others, please shoot me an e-mail if interested.




  31.  

    fantastic points altogether, you just gained a brand new reader.
    What may you suggest about your put up that you simply made a few
    days ago? Any certain?




  32.  

    I always spent my half an hour to read this weblog’s posts all the time along with a
    cup of coffee.




  33.  

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment
    but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.

    Anyways, just wanted to say wonderful blog!




  34.  

    Hello my family member! I wish to say that this article is amazing, great written and include approximately all
    important infos. I’d like to see more posts like this .




  35.  

    Have you ever considdered about adding a littl bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and all. Nevertheless just imagine if you added some great images or videos to give your posts more,
    “pop”! Your content is excellent bbut with images and video
    clips, this blog could certainly bee one of the greatest in its
    field. Very good blog!





Leave a Response