Dictionary.com published an interesting article entitled “Does Grammar Matter at Work?” Kyle Wiens, CEO at iFixit, and founder of Dozuki wrote the article “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar” for Harvard Business Review. Wiens stated, “I have found that people who make fewer errors on a grammar exam also make fewer errors when they do something totally unrelated to writing, such as stocking shelves or labeling pieces.” John McWhorter, a New York Times essay contributor, responded that grammar does not indicate intelligence or attention to detail and is not essential in many professions.
Grammar is more important in writing jobs than it is in other jobs like a factory line worker. However, I disagree that grammarly coupon code has anything to do with attention. As a book critic, I’ve seen many books with poor grammar. Many of these books lack any attention to detail.
There are many aspiring authors in the world today, and more than a million books published each year. A well-written book, with correct grammar and proofreading, will make an author stand out among the rest.
Bad grammar can exist even among authors. Because publishers can correct grammar and spelling errors, traditionally published books are more reliable than self-published ones. However, not all editors and authors are the same caliber. Many self-published authors are smart enough to get their books edited and proofread in order to avoid mistakes.
There are certain grammar mistakes that I notice in books. I often find split infinitives even in major publishing houses. In the famous opening of “To Boldly Go”, “Star Trek” is the best-known example of a split verb. This is because “to go” refers to the infinitive of a verb. It should not be divided, but people often insert adverbs into it, thus splitting it. Also, subject-pronoun agreement is a frequent issue that I see. As an example, “Everyone should choose what they want for lunch before going to the deli counter.” This case, “everyone”, as in the previous example, is singular. Therefore, pronouns must also be singular. Instead of “they”, you should use “he,” “she,” and “he or she.” Or, “everyone” can be replaced by a plural word such as “people”, which will match the plural pronoun of “they.”
These errors are common even in books that have been traditionally published, and they still happen to educated people. These examples of bad grammar are often ignored by people who complain about grammar. It was funny to read the Dictionary.com article. I was both amused by the comments from people who believed grammar matters in the workplace and those who disagreed. Many were filled with poor grammar and at least one person commented on this fact.
John McWhorter is wrong to say that grammar doesn’t have anything to do with detail-oriented. Here, I will expand on grammar to include spelling and pronunciation as well as other communication and writing issues. Commercials that use poor grammar make me cringe. There are commercial writers who should be better. Poor pronunciation is another reason I cringe. In one commercial, the owner of a business claims that his product is “guaranteed”. But he cannot pronounce “guaranteed”. He believes that the word’s beginning rhymes with “car” instead of “care”. A jingle plays in which the word can be correctly pronounced. The same commercial has been repeated many times by this business. Each time, it uses the same “guaranteed line” and suffers from the same pronunciation problem. It is amazing that the TV station that produced the commercial has never informed the business owner that he mispronounced the word. I’m also amazed that the business owner didn’t notice that the word was pronounced differently in this jingle. This is a clear example of poor attention to detail. There is a lot of variation in pronunciations so I went online to listen to the word at four different dictionaries. None pronounce it the same way. Even though there are two different ways to pronounce the word, shouldn’t they be the same pronunciation in the commercial? Do I really want to purchase a product from someone who has for decades been unable to correctly pronounce a word he uses to promote his business? He’s made the same mistake dozens of times and still can’t remember how to correct it. Is his product really guaranteed?
This lack of attention to detail can be even more severe when it is in a book. Here’s a sample of one of many books I was given to review. It is a book where poor grammar and bad writing reflected a lack of attention. This particular book was full of misspellings and typos. The author’s constant reference to his past as an “alter boy” was one of the things that really annoyed me. He should have been able to spell “altar” as a Catholic. Worse, he couldn’t decide how much to do of any given thing throughout the book. He would refer to a film or book on several pages. One page would be italicized, the next in bold, and then another. Then he’d underline on another. Finally, italicize and underline on a third. One instance was when he italicized, bolded, and underlined the same sentence. He never realized that the three references to the book were not the same. It is hard to imagine him painting a fence such as that-a black post, a green post, and then some pink stripes. Then he realized it was terrible. It was a terrible book. Good authors pay attention to details and make sure that everything is consistent.
Authors I know don’t believe good grammar matters. They say, “That’s why my editor is there.” Editors who say writers with poor grammar are bad writers. No matter how good the idea or how hard they work, editors can only improve a book so much. A book will never be perfect if it is not well-written.