Is Good Grammar Gone?
Five Reasons Why Grammar Still Matters
Digital communication has shortened messages and made writing less formal in many situations, including business writing. Despite changes to how we write, or how many words it takes, grammar is no less important. In fact, one could argue that even more emphasis on grammar is needed at a time when attention declines and message composition speed rises.
More concise or casual tones might now rule in every type of communication from news reports to company blogs, but that doesn’t mean business writers should forget grammar. There’s a big difference between casual and sloppy. And sloppy writing makes people think of poor or sloppy quality in products or services. Here are five reasons why bad grammar in business writing hurts:
1. Professionalism. It’s particularly tough when English is not your first language, but if you have trouble grasping English grammar rules, get help. Even managers writing internal memos to employees should be aware of the grammar and spelling.
2. Clarity. Business writing must be clear, and misunderstandings can lead to poor customer relations or even cost money. Knowing grammar basics and reviewing writing to correct grammar can improve the clarity of communication and avoid misunderstandings, especially from ambiguity.
3. Distraction. You can work long hours crafting an important message, choosing tone and vocabulary carefully to inform or persuade readers. But glaring grammar errors can distract readers from your message, which means your time was more or less wasted.
4. Unknown perceptions. If your employees communicate through email and other correspondence, you’ll never know whether their grammar skills are bad unless you vet writing skills from the start or train those who need writing help. It’s likely that readers will remember errors, or the feelings they generated, but won’t report the poor grammar to you.
5. Readers remember. Finally, readers often can forgive the occasional typo in social media, especially timely tweets. But they’re less forgiving about mistakes in print and sales materials. For example, running an incorrect price or duration of a sale causes plenty of trouble that sticks in customers’ memories.
Refresh your grammar skills with training from Business Writing That Counts! You can get a grip on the most important grammar rules in our Grammar That Counts! online course. Complete it from home or work in less than two hours. Call us at 425-485-3221 or visit our website to register and upgrade grammar skills in your business writing.