Good Grammar is Good Manners : Both demand little, but go a long way
When you meet a person, you get the first impression from his clothing, his opening words and the way he carries himself. This is what good grammar does to your writings. Your writings are strangers to the readers and a good grammar is like, perfect, formal clothing. It may not be noticed always, but its absence shatters the impression.
When I read articles or books, however intriguing or informative the article is, I put it down if the content is grammatically incorrect. Sometimes, I have to read some of the sentences all over again to understand what the author meant. That really irks me. In fact, most of the readers agree with this.
There are two reasons for the same:
- The reading experience – While reading, if their attention keeps diverting towards the umpteen errors in your article, it would hinder their reading experience. Diverted attention is akin to lack of attention. There are many other writers with the knowledge of the subject and good grammar. Your readers would go for them.
- Lack of understanding – You write to give information and people read, to get that information. Grammatical errors could make sentences go awry. Which means, your readers may not understand a word of what you intend to convey. Even worse, you might end up giving them the wrong idea. A writer who gives the wrong idea is never preferred. You lose your potential readers this way.
So, grammar is not only your writings’ clothes but also the base upon which your writings are to be built. This applies not just to your professional life, but also to your personal life. Here is what could go wrong in your personal life:
- Your ideas, no matter how good they are, may not be grasped. Because, you aren’t good at communicating them.
- Your words could create wrong impression on the listeners. In other words, you could be misunderstood easily.
- You could lose opportunities at your workplace solely due to lack of good grammar (& good manners as well)
- To sum it up, good grammar is an essential part of communication everywhere.
Here is what can be done to improve your grammar:
- To start with, get your writings checked by someone proficient in English. Let them help you, to know your weak points. A little bit of effort, online searches and you will be good to go.
- Communicate in English, read more, write more, speak, read, write is the mantra.
- Use online grammar check apps. Hemingway app and ProWritingAid are the two apps I recommend for spell check and grammar check. Over time, you will know your flaws and learn to avoid them.
- Break down complicated sentences. Smaller the sentence, less margin for grammatical error. This not only helps you, but makes it easier for the readers to understand. Bigger the better doesn’t work with writing. Keep your sentences short and crisp.
- Take some grammar tests and exercises. There are many such tests available online.
- Go back to point one, ask someone to evaluate your writings.
For the politeness part – When you pick up a subject, research well. If the same subject affects different groups of people differently, ensure that you know everyone’s viewpoint. Write it in such a way that the readers could relate to it. This isn’t about twisting the facts. This is about giving them the facts and explaining it from everyone’s point of view. If your readers know that you respect their opinion, they would respect yours too.
But then, the next question arises.
Is good grammar alone sufficient? … well.. let us take it for another post.
Our Guest Author : Ranjini Sankar
Ranjini Sankar is a CA student from Cochin and a blogger by choice. I am also a part time freelance writer and editor. “An avid reader, I fell in love with words and wordplay at an early age and was passionate about writing since then. Two of my poems were published in a literary magazine recently. In my corporate world, writing keeps me sane, lively and helps me clear my head. I blog at https://rangelz.wordpress.com/ and aspire to become a life changing writer someday” says Ranjini on herself.