Almost every high school English teacher has the same sign on their wall. It says some version of “Let’s eat Grandma vs. Let’s eat, Grandma: Punctuation Saves Lives!” As cheesy as that sign is, its sentiment, that grammar and punctuation really do matter, rings true in the business world.
Here are three reasons why good grammar is beneficial for all businesses.
1. Clear Communication Increases Productivity
Proofreading is meticulous work that takes time, but investing the time upfront to check for errors can end up saving you from communication headaches in the long-run.
Let’s say you send your employees an email that wasn’t proofread. It details a task that they must complete, but grammar errors make the directions unclear. Some employees wait for you to answer their questions, while others complete the task incorrectly.
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Now you have to spend time correcting mistakes and re-explaining what you wanted. Had you proofread, the task would’ve already been completed. Always check your writing before you hit send.
2. Attention to Detail Matters to Clients
First impressions matter. We’re told from a young age that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, we all do.
The time you spent talking to a potential client about your company’s detail-oriented work will immediately be offset if you send them an email or document with spelling and punctuation errors. Perhaps you actually are precise in your dealings, but your client doesn’t know that. All they see is that you used their instead of they’re, a glaring error that could have easily been spotted.
This is also important when recruiting new employees. Top-tier workers want to work for top-tier companies with reputations for high levels of professionalism. Improper grammar makes you seem lazy, and you could lose somebody who might’ve been a huge asset to your business.
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Attention to detail shows that you care about your work and your reputation.You can’t only apply this rule sporadically, however. If you’re going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk in all of your company’s actions.
3. Good Spelling and Grammar Help Avoid Scandal
In February 2017, the U.S. Department of Education sent out a tweet that misspelled W.E.B. DuBois, causing an uproar.
The incident generated a lot of harmful accusations and ultimately ended in the department issuing a public apology and correction. Whether or not the accusations were true, the damage was still done.
Another costly governmental grammar error occurred in the 1872 Tariff Act. A misplaced comma in the act caused fruit merchandisers nationwide to be unlawfully taxed, and the U.S. government paid about $2 million in restitution (the equivalent of about $40 million today).
These two episodes aren’t unique. There are countless incidents where a misplaced comma or extra punctuation have left businesses and governments alike vulnerable to lawsuits and criticism. Scanning your own content for mistakes can help save your PR and legal teams from having to clean up an unnecessary mess.
Solutions for the Grammar Impaired
If you’re pressed for time or your grammar skills aren’t particularly strong, editing can be a daunting task. Fear not. Here are some time-saving tools:
Grammarly. Grammarly is a Google Chrome extension that will mark spelling and grammar mistakes in your online writing, including emails and social media posts. You can also upload your offline documents for Grammarly to check, too.
Grammarly will keep track of the mistakes you make so you can see which areas of your writing need improvement. Grammar help is offered for free, but there is a premium version available, which includes more advanced style and structure editing for a fee.
Purdue OWL. Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) is a website that will act as your grammar and formatting handbook. With different style guides including MLA and APA, Purdue OWL is the answer to your pressing writing questions.
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The Lousy Writer. For those searching for a way to improve their writing and grammar skills without taking a lengthy course, look no further than The Lousy Writer. This website provides brief tutorials on a wide variety of grammar and writing topics. Some topics include common grammar mistakes, parts of speech and their uses, active vs. passive voice, and more.
Source: Img Flip
Using proper grammar can be a pain in the you-know-where, but the heartache caused by lost productivity, lost clients, and lost reputation will be much more agonizing than a quick edit. By using online tools and a keen eye, you’ll be able to improve the quality of your work and reputation in no time.