This past week I received this email:
Hi there ,
I really enjoyed your site! I found an article on why grammar is still so important and thought you might want to share it with your readers.
Grammar is especially important during 2020, since meetings are no longer face to face and our online profiles are a reflection of ourselves, bad grammar will leave a bad impression.
Here is the article I mentioned: https://www.wizcase.com/blog/how-good-grammar-saves-lives-and-other-reasons-its-still-important/
You might find it a good fit for your page here: mcrolston.com/resources/. You should add the report to your page, I think it will be very helpful for your readers. 🙂
My response was as follows:
I will add your link. I so agree that we need to not get sloppy. I struggle with the rules of grammar, actually always have. I’m sure even my blog has its oops!
It was daunting when in high school, dealing with grammar rigorous teachers. As a teacher, I tried to inspire kids to first find their voice, which would build their confidence, then I’d show them how to gently apply the rules while conferencing. My goal was that the writing process was not a turn off and that kids would want to write more.
You are right bad grammar can leave a bad impression. On the other hand, being a grammar ‘nazi’ can leave others with a bad impression of one lacking tolerance and overly judgmental… lol.
Thanks so much for the email!
Now to let you all in on a secret, I’m a terrible speller. I always have been. Mark is just the opposite. Is it because his father would make him write out pages of the dictionary as discipline? Our first Christmas together, Mark gave me the Bad Speller’s Dictionary…. Ugh! If I had to take a spelling test to become a teacher, my results might have been touch and go. I hated completing boring phonics sheets as a student. Funny, I was and always have been an avid reader, strong public speaker, which begs the question, why am I such a poor speller?
My BFF growing up, Patricia, loved the rules of grammar and was an excellent writer technically and had a strong creative voice in grade five. It came to her naturally. I always admired her skill. Meanwhile, I was constantly getting feedback from teachers, especially in high school, that my writing was awkward, wordy and needed grammatical editing. I had writing envy.
Speed dial to today, at 62 years of age, I am finally feeling more confident in my writing. Yes, I still have those waves of insecurity and get caught in those oops mistakes but I’m proud of my four self-published picture books and two business parables, in addition to the blogging on my website. How did I develop confidence? Practice! I have been creatively writing for over 30 years. My writing has evolved to include non-fiction, fiction, poetry and blogging. It’s about persisting through those challenges and the ego talk questioning competency. It’s remaining optimistic and open to learning, but above all it is PRACTICE!
We can’t dismiss Dave’s point; we need to make sure that we are aware of our visual online presence. We all know that in today’s world of speed, it is too easy to get caught up on skim reading, skim proofing, pressing send before we critically examine what we are writing. It’s hard to take back a first impression. So on that note the link he shared with us is excellent in clearly coaching us all to slow down and ‘look in the mirror’, making adjustments, ensuring we are presentable, before we step outside.
Quick Take Away Links:
- Dave’s suggested link:
- Article quoting recent research on what makes some better spellers:
- I guess I’m a global learner?
- Strategies to help poor spellers:
- Interesting article describing push back from famous authors:
If you are a great speller and supper at grammar, great, however try not to judge others if they struggle. Whether they can spell is not a reflection of their intelligence or knowledge.
If you struggle with spelling and grammar, DON’T GIVE UP! Keep practicing. I challenge you to have the patience to practicing the written word through journaling, creative writing and blogging or emailing. Don’t be your own worse critic. Choose kind people to help you proof your work and see the process as a writing workout to improve skill and strength in articulating your thoughts. Remember, as Dan Pink wrote in To Sell is Human, we are all in the business of pitching ideas, trying to influence others. We only have a short window of time to capture people’s interest.