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Business and Grammar

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  • March 14, 2013
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Students attend college for the main purpose of receiving a degree and obtaining a job. If poor grammar is inhibiting students from getting a job after college, grammatical principles of writing should be more heavily emphasized within the college curriculum. But, do employers even care about the level of grammatical ability their applicants have? To find the answer to this question, it was important to consider how employers in the professional world feel about grammatical ability and how it varies from profession to profession. Reading articles about grammar in the workplace, analyzing blogs posted by employers, and conducting interviews with employers were the main methods we used to research this question. Articles provided a general idea of how poor grammar affects productivity in the workplace. Additionally, blogs posted by employers showed how poor grammar reflects negatively on the applicant’s intelligence. Finally, interviews with employers allowed us to ask specific questions about the feelings surrounding poor grammar in the workplace.

After conducting our research, it was clear that improper grammar is looked down upon in the workplace. In an interview with Matt Gregg, senior account executive at Hall & Partners, Inc., he explained that communicating with proper grammar is key to any professional communication. “When you are writing properly, it not only shows that you care about your message, but you care about how the receiver interprets your message. It is very frustrating when someone isn’t putting in their best effort,” he said. Gregg’s response refers to negative judgement that is placed on a person who has poor grammar. John McWhorter, editor at the New York Times, had a similar outlook. “We cannot help associating ‘bad’ grammar with low intelligence, sloppiness and lack of refinement,” he stated in his article Good Applicants With Bad Grammar. The Harvard Business review also featured a blog post by Kyle Wiens, titled I Won’t Hire People...