Grammar Matters

This video has become insanely popular lately. While most think it is merely comical, I applaud Weird-Al for finally saying what most of us were thinking.

I am a “Grammar Nazi”. I am the girl with the bright red pen waiting to correct errors on your resumes. I am the girl pulling out her hair over the fact that you spelled “significantly” wrong three times in your last Facebook post. I see your poor spelling and improper grammar; it pains me.

I will admit it, the English language has some strange grammar rules and odd spellings. However, there are a few things we can do to make sure that we are doing it justice.

To those who have issues with grammar and spelling: I am not here to patronize you because I paid attention in English class. I am simply here to offer a few simple solutions for the growing grammar problem.

Improper grammar is frustrating. Don’t know if you should use a comma or a semicolon? Google it. There are dozens of websites available to instruct you on the use of proper grammar (simply by the click of a link). Please utilize these free guides to grammar. This one is my favorite.

Stop relying on spell check. Spell check is not all-powerful, therefore you need to pay attention. For example, my name is Brittany ____. After two years of having this computer, it still says my last name is spelled wrong. After 23 years of having this last name, I can say with complete certainty that it is not misspelled. Spell check will not catch every little mistake. Another perfect example is when you use homonyms. Such as, road or rode. These words sounds the same, however, they have two different meanings. Spell check will not know the difference between these two words in the context of your sentence.

Txt spk. No one in the professional world cares if you’ve g2g, or if you’ll bbl. Those abbreviations stopped being relevant when AIM was no longer popular. Use real words, not abbreviations.

Splling is hrd. (Spelling is hard) Proper spelling seems to have lost its luster with the Z generation. As stated earlier, it is simply easier to click the spell check button than it is to write things properly the first time. If you are unsure as to how to spell something, use dictionary.com. Trust me, it’s not as embarrassing as it seems.

Crack open that toolbox. There are thousands of tools available to you, most of which are free. Google is an incredible way to dig up information on difficult grammar issues. Spell check is also an amazing tool, but remember, it is just a tool. Books, though they seem outdated, are also amazing sources of information. Rules for Writers by Diana Hacker is a staple in my library.

Build your vocabulary. Crack open a thesaurus every now and again. The more words you know, the less repetitive you will sound. Challenge yourself to learn one word a week and to use it in at least one sentence every day (if it is applicable). Check out this website for great new words.

Example: Do not use “sad”. Use “morose”, “melancholy”, or “distraught”.

Smarty pants!  Using proper spelling and grammar will make you appear more professional, and well-educated. Plus, people (like me) will really appreciate not having to correct your résumés, and Facebook posts.

-Brittany Bee

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