On Grammar

This should be YOUR worst nightmare.

“…the ability to…write…must be viewed as tantamount to survival.”

For Dr. Vartan Gregorian, the Iranian-born former Brown University president and current president of the Carnegie Corporation in New York, he wasn’t saying that just to hear himself speak eloquently about writing.

He’s making a deep point we in society have forgotten with the rise of social media and the phasing out of old-fashioned pen on paper.

To make a simple grammatical mistake is the difference between making a point that’s parallel to your message and a point in which your message got lost before you even hit the blue arrow (or SEND for other phone platforms) on your iPhone.

Ya’ll know about this.

Gregorian’s point: At some point, we ALL write.

All right?

Whether it’s via email, a text message, or even responding to a (written) post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or anywhere else online, we ALL write.

Humans are imperfect by default. Yes, not EVERYBODY will be grammarian wizards and writing gurus.

But, do we need to be?


But as people who text and talk nonstop, we want our message to go across in the way we intended for it to come out. If it’s not verbal, the art of the written word represents us.

“Your going to love this car.” OK? Did you buy someone I know a car? Is a friend of mine going to love the car you‘re going to buy them? Or, did you mean to say that I am going to the car? (You’re/Your = common mistakes.)

Good writing is also about not wasting other people’s time, to be very frank with ya.

Even though it’s OK for us to make grammatical mistakes (because let’s face it, even I make many grammatical mistakes–we all do), we should owe ourselves the deliberate practice of using the true power of the written word, when written correctly. Because it’s one thing to make a grammatical mistake and for you to not think much of it; however, it is another thing when you’ve got people taking extra time to try and understand what you were trying to say in the face of the shitty writing you published.

I’m not saying to be writing gurus and correct every mistake you see.

But it is essential to know good writing. That way, you’ll better represent yourself.

And if you own a business, it is very much tantamount to your own survival.

Right, Dr. Gregorian?


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