With the technological age in full swing across the globe, students and professionals alike have asked this question on many occasions: Is it still relevant to know and practice the usage of proper grammar and spelling? Many argue that as long as they can be understood, it shouldn’t matter if they use commas appropriately or know how to spell commonly misspelled words. Similarly, many adults lessen the importance of knowing proper grammar and spelling by claiming that they’ve “made it this far” and have been fine not knowing those things. Even though younger generations downplay the importance of proper grammar and spelling skills, it’s important for everyone to understand why these skills continue to not only be relevant, but truly vital.
The Cornerstone to Communication
Knowing how to communicate well in any form is important when it comes to both being understood and understanding others. The entire basis of language seeks to achieve this understanding between people. When there is a disconnect and communication breaks down, people are left confused and frustrated. From a global perspective, we have to consider that English is the primary language used in multiple arenas including business, government, medicine, education, and more. While most people in the United States only speak English, most people in other countries speak two or more languages, and more often than not, English is one of those languages. As native English speakers, if we do not hold ourselves accountable when following the rules of spelling and grammar in our oral and written communication, how can we expect those for whom English is a second or third language to do so? If one or both parties involved cannot clearly communicate and understand what is being said, nothing positive will be accomplished and all those involved will be left irritated and discouraged.
On a smaller scale, every individual has to know how to communicate well in order to thrive. For important relationships to be healthy and enjoyable, for success in a job, and for daily interactions to be pleasant, you absolutely must know how to communicate with others and understand them. The usage of proper spelling and grammar can help you get your ideas across concisely and clearly.
The Appearance of Education
This is kind of a tricky one because we all know that your knowledge of grammar and your ability to spell well are not always directly related to your level of education. However, it is accepted as a general rule that those who are more educated have a better understanding and usage of proper grammar and spelling. When it comes to a resume or another important written document, everyone should double- and triple-check that all spelling and punctuation is correct and that grammar rules are followed.
When it comes to emails or social media posts, the use of proper grammar and spelling is still incredibly important. While a high school student may not think that misspellings, poorly punctuated sentences or improper grammar usage is a big deal, his or her future employer likely will. A 2014 poll by CareerBuilder.com showed that 51% of employers checked job applicants’ social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. That is a pretty significant increase from 43% in 2013 and 34% in 2012. Since these percentages are increasing quite rapidly, it’s safe to assume that in the future most employers may require a review of your Internet postings before you are considered for a job. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can wipe away any history of Internet activity when your dream job rolls around. Many of your social media pages are accessible to anyone at any time – and many employers request your username and password to those that are not, so be wise when it comes to what you post and how you post it.
It Improves Your Influence
The utilization of proper spelling and grammar can make you more respected and more influential. Think about a time you spoke with (either in person or in writing) a person who could barely form a proper sentence. You likely wrote that person off and wouldn’t trust much information that came from them, even if it was correct. With the use of proper sentence structure and spelling, you come across as more knowledgeable, more authoritative and more trustworthy. Your sphere of influence is instantly expanded as those on the receiving end of your communication deem you more worthy of their time and attention.
It Shows Commitment
Some people pick up grammar rules and spelling very easily, while others may struggle to remember all the rules. No matter which of these people you are, you can learn grammar and spelling, and you can properly apply what you’ve learned to your written and spoken communication. Regardless of which category you fall into, learning and using proper grammar and spelling will show that you are committed and determined, both of which are incredibly important characteristics to possess whether it’s in the classroom, the office or throughout everyday conversation.
San Diego Virtual School is a middle and high school program offering comprehensive, accredited, common-core curriculum, including foreign language classes. Our program is individualized to meet each student’s needs that begins through a personalized assessment of their current academic standings and future goals.