Writing isn’t easy, but it is necessary

Sean Flack

Your vs. you’re: The importance of using these words correctly is one of the most constantly bickered about debates of our time. Some people argue that proper grammar is important, while others feel that it’s not a big deal at all.

I can see where the latter camp is coming from. You know, as long as you can understand what they’re saying, why does it matter to add commas? And I do believe that if you’re talking in an instant message or text, then you don’t necessarily have to be picture perfect.

But this is not me proclaiming my love for run-on sentences. I think good grammar is important. Not because I’m some stuffy journalism major. Not because I expect everyone to be perfect. But because grammar and spelling can speak volumes about one’s character.

When it comes to checking out a new business, I am instantly turned off by ones that have glaring typos. Obviously I understand that a typo slips in occasionally, but to be constantly using words like “wen” and “prolly” sends all these red flags up about the quality and attention to detail of the business. If you don’t know the difference between “their” and “there,” how can I trust you to give you my money?

I might sound a little ridiculous, but this isn’t rocket science. Why do people just throw up words on the screen and hit submit? I’d like to think that if people just read over what they wrote once, then maybe they could evolve to using complete words.

People don’t realize that every time you post something on the Internet, it’s like you’re posting part of yourself, a big ol’ signal to the world yelling, “Here I am!” And hey, maybe your friends won’t care, maybe your family won’t care, but you might be applying for a good job someday, and I guarantee your boss will care.

It’d really be easier for all of us if everyone made a conscious decision to edit what they write. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been in a class where someone complains about writing, like it’s the hardest thing on planet Earth. If we could move from writing essays in text-speak to using actual words, I think people would find it not as hard a transition.

I know it can be difficult. English is such a screwy language, and I’m not pressuring everyone to use proper semicolons and learn about dangling participles. I’m just talking about the basics: spelling, commas, apostrophes. You could have something really important to say, but if your words are all jumbled, then people are just going to laugh.

And I don’t mean to pick on people. I just think it’s important to give off the best image of yourself at all times, and simple things like grammar achieve that with flying colors.

So pay attention in English 250. Writing isn’t stupid. It’s a skill that will help you immensely in your life. People are suckers for a well-written anything. And you don’t have to be an English professor to come off as intelligent. Complete sentences and proper spelling will get you far.