Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Personal Grammar Rant

I've not written about the importance of grammar and writing style for quite some time. Today I felt essentially slapped in the face by someone who wrote that people only care about such things because they live too-complacent lives in which they have no larger concerns. I beg to differ.

I care about my grammar and how I use words because I cannot clearly express myself without them. An incoherent rant acts to reinforce someone's negative impression of your point of view, rather than convincing them of anything. Dislocated modifiers and mangled syntax obscure your meaning and can destroy your credibility.

While pointing out the flaws in someone's grammar rebuts nothing of their argument, using correct subject-verb agreement and knowing the definition and spelling of the words you choose strengthens your own. Writing well contributes to better school performance. A person who can express themselves well If you can express yourself well, you can land a job that requires interacting with people.

I submit that people who deplore all those concerned with grammar and language use do so not because they have believe the sentiment that prompted this post but because they can't be bothered to learn the rules. Certainly, confusion abounds about some of the subjects I've covered here, but starting a sentence with, “I is” reflects not a lack of understanding but a willful ignoring.

If you choose to do so for a political reason, I support your choice to do so. In this case, (in a grammatically clean and well-spelled manner) a case was made that people only care about grammar because of my race or because they are somehow spoiled and weak. That not only offends me, personally, but it should offend people of any race or socioeconomic status, as it implies that being poor or of color makes you inherently unable to learn to express yourself well. I can think of many historical figures who would beg to differ, as well.




I agree with you entirely.