Thursday, August 02, 2012
This is an interesting case for good grammar in business writing. It is a pity that professionals often ignore its arguments, particularly when writing e-mail. This summer I am teaching managers getting MBAs at New York University. The course is business communications. One student, a bright fellow, argued with me over the need to worry about grammar and spelling in e-mail. He works in a firm, he said, where it isn't an issue. He rejected my counter-argument that poor grammar might work in his firm but it might not be successful elsewhere. We agreed to disagree. The issue of grammar and spelling is simple. It is one's image to another who might not know you. It defines your intelligence and knowledge. It shows respect for the reader. Correct grammar and spelling are good personal PR. I hope this student will see that before he gets into trouble with a boss or client, but experience is the best teacher.