I'm dictating this column (not comma) on my iPhone. I know, I know, it's a strange thing to do, but here's the story.
My wife and I are driving to Cincinnati for Thanksgiving. Debbie is at the wheel so that I can write this column (not call I'm), but the battery on my laptop has gone dead and I forgot my adapter, so I can't plug in for power.
I suspect the same thing has happened to you.
Anyway, I've been thinking about all the people who responded to my last column listing 10 reasons to learn (not burn) proper grammar. Apparently, it's a hot topic.
Not one person wrote to say proper grammar, punctuation and word choice don't (not doesn't) matter, though I suspect they're riders out their who (not that) think that weigh. Instead, everyone who wrote to me (no, after a restrictive clause) agreed with my 10 reasons but thought I hadn't gone far enuf.
So hear are more reasons to use proper grammer (and not to miss spell words):
11. Learning proper grammar will help you use both "the Power of Language" and "the Language of Power" to your advantage.
Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli (not his real name), a fourth-grade teacher, writes: "Just last Friday I taught a brief lesson on the importance of speaking and writing using 'academic' or 'professional' language. (We are strongly discouraged from using the term 'correct English' or even 'proper grammar' when referring to conventional rules.) Although my students are only 10 years old, I believe it's important for them to learn both the Language of Power and the Power of Language because what they practice now will become habit, and the habit of using those conventions can pay off for them as they pursue college and career opportunities. I believe that teaching them and having them practice these standard English conventions is one way to close the achievement and opportunity gaps."
Thank gudness for copy and paste.
12. Learning proper grammar shows your appreciation for the gift of language.
Orval writes: "We are given this wonderful . . . I don't know quite what to call it . . . invention, tool, structure, means of communication, living historical system, web of meaning, means to beauty and truth: the English language. We should demonstrate our right to and our gratitude for that gift by learning how to use it." Luv it.
Orval adds, "It's not that d*** hard! Any reasonably intelligent human being can, with due diligence, learn grammar. The laziness, carelessness, disrespect, whatever it is that inhibits this exasperates me."
13. The society of careful writers and speakers is "a small club with demanding entrance requirements."
But as Steve (not me) writes, "It is one of the few exclusive clubs I can afford to join." LOL.
14. "Bad writing, including bad grammar, is like playing music out of tune."
Write on, Andrew. Gee, I wish my iPhone had a word count feature so that I could calculate how many more inches of column (not colon) space I have left. Anyway
Stephen Wilbers offers training seminars in effective business writing. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is www.wilbers.com.