Does grammar really matter?
According to my somewhat eccentric and incredibly intelligent English prof, you bet grammar matters. & to hold any opinion otherwise makes you not only stupid but also puts you on the fast track to being unsuccessful. As he put it so eloquently yesterday morning, regardless of what you want to do in life, be it writing; driving a garbage truck; or committing a crime, if you cannot communicate effectively all your hard work will be for nought. Why, some of you may be asking. Why must grammar be at the root of our success?
Earlier, I explained — in general terms — what grammar is. To reiterate: it is the system used in a language that has been agreed upon by it’s citizens. If you do not have a working knowledge of this system, you cannot be expected to effectively communicate. If punctuation puzzles you, and prose leaves you perplexed, the power of communication will forever elude you.
There are many people who come up with great ideas, but if you pay attention you will notice that only the most effective communicators gain recognition. Someone who is totally illiterate will never have their ideas taken seriously, because how can they have a valid point if they have no semblance of properly communicating it? Regardless of how great your idea is, if you can’t take that idea and structure it effectively to be communicated and received in the proper way, you will never be taken seriously. Grammar was created to cut out the confusion created when a society was not on the same linguistic page. If you do not have a solid grasp of grammar’s somewhat complicated rules, you will be unable to communicate as effectively as someone who does.
In no way am I suggesting that every human that walks this earth needs to be 100 percent accomplished in the study of grammar. Even after my brief stint of studying it I realize how intricate the English language is, and knowing it inside out would take years of intense study. What I AM suggesting is that if your success depends on communicating effectively — which I can guarantee you it does — work on your grammar skills. Gain a sense of grammar, and use it appropriately in your day to day life. That way, when push comes to shove and you need to be heard, I can guarantee that someone will listen.
Until next time, sarah.