Good Grammar is Credibility


It is a truth universally known, that a man in want of a job must have a grasp on grammar.


"Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can't tell the difference between their, there, and they're."

Kyle Wiens on the Harvard Business Review


How true. It's what we leave behind on the internet that represents us. As a writer by trade, exceptional grammar has always been my pursuit (however, by no means am I perfect). It saddens me when I see people post or write with such disregard for the English they were taught at school.

Of course, there are some exceptions. Functional illiteracy makes up a staggering 46% of the Australian population. While the reasons for this figure are numerous, one thing is for certain: illiteracy should never be something to be ashamed of, nor a cause for us to treat others with disrespect.

For those of us fortunate enough to have experienced a solid education and people in our lives who supported our learning, we owe it to ourselves to respect language even when it seems unnecessary. I don't believe Facebook or the like are places where we should let our words (and grammar) slip.


Wiens has a pretty tough policy on grammar. The applicants for jobs he posts at his company get turned away at a moment's notice the second they fail a grammar test. Rightly so, I say.

He has the last word:

"If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building."