Friday, February 20, 2015

Does Grammar matter as much as we say it does in communication?

I recently came across an article on that talked about the word toward vs. towards. The only difference is that one has an "s" added to the end of it. I read through the article because I was curious to find out what the big deal was. Apparently you can move towards and toward something. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, the American English version prefers toward without the "s," while the British English version prefers towards with the "s."

I am a grammar girl, which makes perfect sense because I am in the Journalism School. When I use incorrect grammar on accident I get this feeling that I should have known better, as if I am a kid in a store who is misbehaving and my mother scolds me and tells me to get my act together. Well, yes grammar would be my mother and I would be that kid.

I sometimes wonder why do we get so bent out of shape when someone uses the wrong grammar. When I talk to people that I just met and they use incorrect grammar I automatically judge them for not knowing the difference between "well" and "good" or "to" and "too" or "your" and "you're." Especially if it's a guy who I might be interested in, it automatically turns me off. I wish it didn't do that and I wonder sometimes why it's such a big deal because Lord knows, other things could be worse.

I know I am not the only one either. I know some of my peers who feel the same way. Like I said earlier, maybe it's because I write all the time and that's what I was told was "right" or "proper." Even sometimes I feel like an a-hole for correcting people's grammar, but in the world we live in today, I sometimes feel like I am only helping them.

I have brought up this question, "Does grammar really matter in communication?" Communication is communication, point blank. If I can understand what someone is trying to convey that should be the main goal. Yeah, of course there are rules to everything and grammar does matter for people who know it, but it also sets up a barrier between people who know the rules and those who don't. Communication then becomes more difficult between people who know it and those who don't because one could not fully understand the context of other's message.

I think as communicators we should continue to use "proper" grammar, but also keep in mind that not everyone communicates with the same grammar rules that we do, especially in writing.

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