Wednesday, January 1, 2014

17250--Minding What Matters

Another issue of contention: grammar and spelling.

How important is it to write correctly in dealings with others?  Some argue that proper grammar use is following the dodo into the annals of history.  I say, if you’re going to take the time to write it down, do it right.  This isn’t just about not being perceived as an idiot or someone who doesn’t care, because we’re not supposed to concern ourselves so much with what others think of us, right?  This is about caring enough about your own efforts to do what you do correctly and how what you’re doing (in this case, attempting to communicate to others) will be utterly pointless if done wrong.

You know that old saying that “almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades”?  Notice how nobody ever substitutes “spelling” or “grammar” for an example?  There’s a reason for that.

It would be difficult for me to overstate the impact of being able to communicate information between people without limits of time or distance.  If the Roman empire had invented the printing press, the dark ages might have been avoided.  You may be the best engineer breathing, but how are your works and processes going to be explained to those who don’t share your sharp analytical mind?  You might be a great mechanic who can never pass on your techniques so a hiring company is going to have to settle for someone less talented to write their technical manual.  The job will go to that other applicant whose resume doesn’t show a reckless disregard for the use of to, too, and two; that applicant who seems to give a rat’s ass about properly using you’re, your, then, than, further, farther, their, there, they’re, were, we’re, where and how to spell the tricky technical terms correctly.  Your resume will probably go in the trash.  Maybe, if you’re very lucky, you could end up working for that other applicant who you’ll realize isn’t as smart as you, but somehow got “your” job.  Since you refuse to see the value of those other skills, though, you may never acknowledge the real reasons why things worked out the way they did.  Bitter much?

With the ready availability of education we have, someone who chooses to be unable to communicate effectively in his native language (only you know whether or not that applies to you) comes off as lazy at best.  In a world where many people have to walk miles for possibly clean water, we have educational options at our fingertips that others dream of yet so many choose to bypass.  How many tyrants would've thanked ten gods for a people who didn't crave knowledge or who could not read?  There's a thought that diminishes sympathy for those who argue against people willing to travel from distant lands, learn the language and fill the jobs.  How many of those who scoff at language skills will be able to read this, though?

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