Is Grammar Dead – Or Deadly?

Is Grammar Dead – Or Deadly?

Gail Tycer wordpress wordleDoes grammar really matter? Well it certainly does to some people.

In a recent New York Times piece decrying the practice, John McWhorter, author, blogger, and contributing editor states, “We cannot help associating ‘bad’ grammar with low intelligence, sloppiness and lack of refinement.”

This criterion, he notes, makes it “…increasingly challenging to find work providing a living wage or upward mobility, much less satisfaction,” for people lacking these skills. While acknowledging that this is the case, McWhorter questions barring someone from a decent job “…because he or she isn’t always clear on the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re.’”

Nor does this seem to be a situation limited to the United States. Commenting on “the debate around grammar,” a French scientist said, “I personally don’t hire people whose resumes and letters are full of…mistakes, for two reasons. First, I know I will need to rewrite everything they do…which is a huge waste of time. Second, I consider that someone who is sloppy enough not to check…before they send a resume…is not to be trusted to do serious, precise scientific work.


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Gail Tycer offers business writing workshops and presentationsexecutive coaching,consulting, and writing services. To discuss how we can help, call Gail at 503/292-9681, or email

Published in: on February 11, 2014 at 5:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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