Edgar’s Bone of Conention

Edgar’s Bone of Conention

When celebrating Grammar Day on March 4, Edgar paw…uh…paused to consider the question: How important is grammar in business writing?

There are those who say that if the reader understands the message, so what if there are errors within.

Others, like Edgar, feel that messages with errors can be more difficult to read and understand.  Grammar rules are like directional signals, telling the reader what is intended.

Grammar refers to many rules of standard English.  Dangling modifers are among the most common.  Edgar says he won’t order treats from the company who wrote this confusing message:

“As the owner of Pet Heaven, your dog can be assured of satisfaction.”

Does the company think that Edgar is the owner?

Misplaced commas are another source of confusion.  Edgar is slightly alarmed by this advertisement for a new dog food:

“Owners will say, ‘Come and eat Fido!’ “

Even when the message is fairly clear, readers who understand and revere the rules of grammar notice when mistakes are made.  Edgar feels that this lack of attention to detail and correctness could carry over to other areas of operation in the business.

So, to celebrate Grammar Day, Edgar would like to invite those who dismiss the importance of grammar to ask their readers how they feel.

“Its/it’s your/you’re decision to find out they’re/their/there opinion about whether or not grammar affects/effects their business and if it complements/compliments they’re/their/there work.

Edgar also suggests asking Language at Work for help.  Grammar Therapy is as close as a phone call (202-298-7700).

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