The Importance of Grammar
When recently considering a skill that many do not have but could benefit from mastering, my first thought was the “art of communication.” This subject seemed broad, so I began to consider what allows people to communicate effectively, both written and verbal. When considering the various communications that I have received in the last week, solid grammar usage consistently supported effective communication. Whether the goal is to gain respect as a leader, achieve a higher education, or persuade a company to use a service, using correct grammar can be the difference between success and failure. This includes the proper use of vocabulary, punctuation, and standard grammar rules such as subject and verb agreement. The goal of all communication is to be comprehensible; proper grammar is a crucial step in reaching this goal.
As an example, consider this quote: "As yesterday's positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured." (Daniel Kurtzman, 2008, para. 44). Without knowing who said this quote, how would this speaker be viewed by his or her audience? Is the speaker educated? Is this person influential or possibly a leader? The answer is yes, it is a quote from the current President of the United States, George W. Bush, speaking at a school on the No Child Left Behind Act in Washington, D.C., Sept. 26, 2007.
A simple misuse of a word can have negative results. This quote demonstrates this point: “Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.” (The Quotations Page, 2007). Is the person influential in the United States Government? Yes, this is a quote from Dan Quayle, our United States Vice President from 1989-1993. Throughout their terms in office, each of these politicians has been the subject of jokes. When grammatical errors such as these are made during verbal communication, the audience stops listening to the message and focuses on the mistake. In...
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