- Grammatical errors are distracting.
- Grammatical errors interfere with clarity.
- Although exceptions abound, there is a correlation between seniority and literacy.
- Just as “Loose lips sink ships,” according to the World War II poster, gruesome grammar hurts happiness.
- People who don’t like you will point out your errors to attack you and undermine your position.
- “Bad writing makes bright people look dumb,” as William Zinsser once observed so succinctly.
- Too many little errors will make you seem careless, sloppy and slovenly.
- A single big error, such as writing, “My principle concern is …” when it should be “My principal concern is …” will make readers (a least some readers) think you don’t know what you’re talking about.
- Errors annoy people, as I annoyed Paula in my last column when I wrongly questioned the use of “secrete” in this sentence: “The offenders range from international banks to small-town mortgage lenders, which together helped secrete more than 10,000 U.S.-related accounts holding more than $10 billion.” (Paula wrote: “I grabbed my trusty Oxford dictionary and there it was as a secondary definition of secrete: ‘conceal, put into hiding.’ I’m used to people who think they’re smarter than everyone else and often show their ignorance by not verifying their facts before blasting others. But for you to join in the bashing on this common of a word was troubling.”)
- Good grammar will make people want to go out with you, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, as it made Katy von Kühn want to go out with her future husband, Sam, when she saw his posting on a dating site: “The whole reason I responded to Sam was the way he formulated his e-mail.”
Top 10 reasons you should learn to use proper grammar, Stephen Wilbers, Star Tribune, November 15, 2015