I woke up in my favorite way this morning – in slow stages – therefore able to listen to the random thoughts as they meandered. The idea that I should at some point touch on grammar and spelling was followed by this blog title. Low and behold, when I started going through my blog reader I came across this post from a blog that I follow: Reflections: Is Grammar Worth Teaching?
So, grammar is a topic for the moment, at least in my sphere. And perhaps should be a topic for the broader community since it is important to us all in the context of effective communication. Spelling is part of this as well.
I am the voracious reader that Mindful Stew is talking about in his post – I have an innate understanding of spelling and grammar because of my joy of reading. I have also benefited from my middle class background, being surrounded by proper examples on a daily basis. But I am no grammarian, per se – I’m only interested in proper grammar and spelling as tools to help me convey my message and understand the message that others are putting forth. Poor spelling and word usage detract from the intended message, as does strict adherence to all the intricate grammatical rules. (Yes, Microsoft Word, I do want this to be a sentence fragment, it is underscoring my intent by adhering to my flow and tone.)
If we look at a communication as a product, then the intent of the message is the most important aspect, but the product must be delivered intact to be useful for the user. So spelling and grammar are an important part of the packaging for the product and ensure that the product is delivered as intended.
When my older son was little we had many conversations that essentially amounted to his questioning why he should call things by the name commonly used – he wanted to make up his own name. I would ask him if he thought it was important for other people to understand what he meant and sometimes it was not a priority for him. As he grew he came to understand the value of mutual understanding for the sake of good communication, but he never let go of his interest in understanding things in his own way.
If you want people to understand that something has already happened, you need to consistently use the past tense form of your verbs or your reader will lose track of what you are writing and get snarled in when. The same is true for present and future tenses. This also holds true for all the words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have very different meanings – they’re, their, there.
Write your piece first for the flow, creating your fully formed idea. But then if you want clear comprehension on the part of your reader, make sure that you polish up your use of your tools like spelling and grammar.
© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations