Sunday, August 12, 2012

Good Grammar Remains a Hot Issue

For the past 28 years, I have heard executives and managers tell me how they cringe when their employees abuse Standard English rules. Needless to say, those complaints increased as email grew in popularity and have become even louder as smartphones allowed us  to text on the run. The Wall Street Journal reminds us of this common managerial grievance in a recent article.

Some organizations go so far as screening all staff emails to clients before approving their release. Others authorize only a select few employees to write directly to clients. Still others that do not have such a luxury of limiting external communication to a chosen few applies the sensible approach of requiring all important documents to undergo peer review to detect overlooked errors in grammar, diction, punctuation, and capitalization.

Of the many courses that I offer to companies, my Business Grammar workshop has generated the most interest recently. In fact, the American Management Association asked me last year to design its first AMA's Business Grammar Workshop and this year to adapt it as a live online version.

Unquestionably, writers' attention to grammar reflects their attention to detail, so grammar still does matter.