Using Poor Grammar Makes You Look Stupid. Here’s How to Fix it
Let's be honest. Using bad grammar makes you look stupid. Regardless of the content of your message, when it's delivered unintelligibly, your message falls on deaf ears.
There's a guy who wants to do work for my web services business. He wants to reach out to customers, send emails, and conduct official communication on the company's behalf.
There's just one problem.
Every email he sends is riddled with typos, grammatical errors, and other technical issues that make him look stupid.
How can I think about hiring you if you can't even send a proper email!?
In this post for the Harvard Business Review in 2012, co-founder if iFixit.com, Kyle Wiens wrote,
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.
Granted, Kyle is a writer and has built a business based on writing. And, you might not be a writer, so you can have at least some slack.
But how you write is how you think.
If your writing isn't clear, it's likely your thoughts aren't clear either. While I realize that dyslexia is a real issue, I also know some people use as their wheelchair what could otherwise be used as a crutch.
Bestselling author, and one of my favorites, Vince Flynn was diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school before he went on to become a multiple New York Times #1 bestseller.
Here's more proof:
Business Insider republished a post by Bernard Marr called 10 (More) Grammar Mistakes That Make Smart People Look Stupid. Don't let your bad grammar make you look less intelligent than you are!
Ok, I get it. Not everyone can write right all the time. But, let me as you a question: Which of the two emails below do you think sounds more intelligent or comes across as more professional?
Which sender would you rather do business with? With which sender would you rather do business?
While your future boss or future clients might not be as much of a stickler about grammar as Kyle or I would be, the way you communicate matters.
Every email, term paper, progress report, and status update you write is a chance for other people to evaluate and judge you. So, let's make sure you're putting your best foot forward.
A couple of years ago, I depended entirely on the spell checking abilities of Microsoft Word and Evernote (where I write my posts), and WordPress (right before I hit publish). And, most people, other than my wife and mother-in-law, never pointed out my spelling and grammatical errors.
But they were there.
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Grammarly detects significantly more errors than Word, Evernote and WordPress combined.
Grammarly isn't just a spell checker; it checks for words spelled correctly but that aren't the version you want (i.e., its instead of it's, or to instead of too). Grammarly will also tell you when your sentences are too long or unclear. Also, if you use a word too many times or if a better word could be used, Grammarly will let you know.
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSaOCIkpwP4
It's long (22 minutes), but it's worth watching if you're a serious writer or are serious about your writing.
Is Grammarly Premium Right for Me?
If you only write casually, you should be ok with the free version of Grammarly with the Chrome extension. This add-on for your web browser will check your Gmail emails, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter updates, and anything else you'd type directly into your browser.
Though the free version of Grammarly only works in your browser and doesn't check all the things the Pro version would, it's a good place to start. And it's free!
However, if your livelihood depends on how well you communicate, if you're regularly emailing prospects about doing business with you, or, if you're about to turn in a paper that will affect your ability to pass a class or graduate, you should invest in Grammarly Premium.
In addition to checking grammar and spelling, Grammarly Premium looks for punctuation, sentence structure, and style issues as well.
Here's one more look at me using Grammarly to edit this blog post:
Was I a little hard on the guy (above) who wrote the bad email?
Maybe. But people who work with or for me are an extension of me and my business, so I expect the best!
You know I only recommend products I use and enjoy myself. So, if you'd like to use my Grammarly affiliate link, I'd be grateful.