Do you ever wonder why good grammar matters? Some people complain about the ‘grammar police’ and think that others are making a fuss about nothing. The written language depends on rules; without them, it’s much harder to communicate clearly. Here are some reasons why good grammar matters …
One reason why good grammar matters is because it creates clarity. Have you ever read something, and not had a clue what it was trying to say? If something is not clear, you could make a mistake; we’ve all puzzled by instructions or terms and conditions. Whatever you’re writing should be clear, so that your audience can understand it.
2. AVOIDS AMBIGUITY
Using correct grammar helps avoid ambiguity. Think of a phrase like “Let’s eat, Grandma.” Forget that comma, and you are saying “Let’s eat Grandma.” Although this example is so ridiculous that you probably wouldn’t make a mistake in understanding, it does show how the lack of correct grammar can change the meaning completely.
3. COMMUNICATION WITH NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS
We need to be able to communicate with people from other countries, so one of us has to understand the other’s language. So when someone is trying to read in a language that is not their own, the text needs to be correct. If the grammar isn’t correct, a native speaker might be able to understand what it’s trying to say (after a little thought); a foreigner will have more trouble.
4. RESPECTING YOUR AUDIENCE
If you make mistakes in a letter or in your resumé, it suggests that you don’t consider the reader important enough to take the time to get it right. In fact, mistakes in your resumé may cost you the job – if you can’t get the grammar right, then how well will you represent the company?
When you write something, you’re trying to convey a message. It’s important therefore, to write correctly, in order to make your message clear for your audience. How easy would you find it to read this post if I didn’t use proper grammar? Would you even bother reading until the end? Don’t let your message be lost because you haven’t bothered to use correct grammar.
When you’re posting a message on social media, grammar may not be as important, but in other less casual situations, we should have standards. Using good grammar shows that we care about our language and how we present ourselves. The written form is a representation of ourselves, so make sure that you give a good impression.
7. MAKING WORK FOR OTHERS
If I presented the editors with a poorly-written piece, they wouldn’t be impressed. The job of an editor is to check a piece of writing, not to rewrite it completely. The occasional error is forgivable; expecting someone else to compensate for your lack of effort is not. Poor use of grammar can make a lot of work for a reader, and it also gives a negative impression of the writer.
People who correct the written mistakes of others are often criticised as ‘Grammar Nazis’. Yet we care deeply about the language and hate to see it misused. Language does evolve, but that’s no excuse for not making the effort to write correctly. Which grammar error or spelling mistake drives you mad?