Thursday, September 13, 2012

Grammar and employment

If you've ever wondered why grammar matters to some people, this Harvard Business Review column by Kyle Wiens provides a good explanation. His reasons? Grammar, especially when your first contact is in writing (cover letter, resume, website) is how you present yourself to the world. As he puts it:
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.
And second, grammar requires attention to detail, something that's important in most jobs. Wiens says:
Grammar signifies more than just a person's ability to remember high school English. I've found that people who make fewer mistakes on a grammar test also make fewer mistakes when they are doing something completely unrelated to writing — like stocking shelves or labeling parts.
 If you're interested in exploring the grammar wars further, you can't do better than Fowler's "Modern English Usage". There's also "Eats Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss. What are your favorites?

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