Why grammar matters in business

The author invokes the Harvard Business Review and a Grammarly study in touting impeccable syntax, smart punctuation, and other linguistic propriety.

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I assume everyone understands how important gaffe-free business writing is, much as my dentist figures her patients should appreciate the value of flossing.

The fact that my dentist has to remind me at every visit suggests I should not assume everyone gets my point.

Grammar can be as tedious as flossing. Worse, you have to pay way more attention than I do while massaging my gums during the late news.

I have to not only remind people about the grammar rules that still matter, but also back up my advice with quotes from esteemed authorities, in this case the Harvard Business Review, which has lately been on a roll about grammar and business.

It all started last year when Kyle Wiens wrote the provocatively titled “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar.

He had me at the first paragraph: “If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.”

Thousands commented, many criticizing his elitist attitude and lack of supporting data.

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