It goes without saying that a good workman always double-checks his work, and never was a double-checking process more necessary than when publishing written work. Every day, people all over the world miss out on golden opportunities through simple grammar errors. These errors cause unnecessary stress and get us into sticky situations because of laziness. No matter how good you think you are at writing, it’s vitally important you thoroughly check your work to ensure there are no negative knock-on effects or repercussions.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that bad grammar is potentially life ruining. It can mean the difference between success and failure in numerous situations. In this post we explore 6 ways in which bad grammar can trip you up and negatively impact your life.
1. Losing the Job Before the Interview
Sending off a CV without grammar checking your writing is tempting fate to come and smack you right between the chops. If an HR manager sees that you were sloppy enough to send in a CV/application form containing mistakes, the company isn’t likely to offer you an interview, are they? A job potentially receives 500+ applicants. To give yourself a fighting chance of landing the job make sure you triple-check your grammar before sending off your application.
2. Getting a Complaint Taken Seriously
Ever written an email or letter of complaint in the hope of generating an apology or refund? Well you’ll know then just how important it is to come across as a serious, professional individual who means business. If you write a letter littered with grammatical errors you are less likely to get the positive response you are looking for. You might say that this is discriminatory to those with poor writing skills, and you’d be right, but if you’ve ever worked in customer service you’ll know that a forceful, well-written letter urges you into promptly appeasing a customer’s demands. Be polite but firm, authoritative and direct, and don’t send that complaint before you have thoroughly grammar checked the wording.
3. Losing Respect as a Blogger
Okay, so blogs can get away with the odd mistake here and there because people can appreciate that much of the writing is done as a hobby, and therefore time is scarce amidst life’s important responsibilities. However, blogging is becoming ever more competitive, and as such the need to shine above your competitors to secure a bigger readership is greater. This means writing eloquent, error-free copy that resonates with your readership. You might get away with the odd mistake, but keep making silly grammar errors and you’ll soon see your visitor numbers fall through the floor. Don’t hit ‘publish’ before you’ve used a grammar checker.
4. Being Taken Out of Context
There are few things worse than being misunderstood by someone you really want to make understand your position. But in today’s digital world this happens regularly because of the amount of communication conducted via the written word. Debates regularly unfold on blogs, Facebook and Twitter, and if you aren’t careful with your grammar you can easily be misunderstood. This could potentially damage your reputation and discredit your argument.
Once you’ve made a point it is difficult to back track and explain yourself; people just aren’t willing to give you that opportunity, especially once they’ve secured the upper hand. This isn’t just about making the odd grammatical mistake, either. This is about being taken out of context. By using the wrong order of words, or the wrong choice of words, your entire intended meaning can be misconstrued and used against you. Don’t give others the opportunity to punish you for your mistakes. Make sure you double-check every comment before pushing that ‘post’ button.
5. No Second Chance
Even though the majority of writing is done on computers, there are still many circumstances where your final word is final and you won’t get an opportunity to go back and edit mistakes. A primary example is print published works in books and magazines. Even in the digital world you may struggle to find a Webmaster kind enough to correct a silly grammar error in a guest post you submitted a few months back. But there are other life events where your written word is final, too, such as an entry in a school yearbook or letter to a loved one. The point is you can’t always turn back the grammatical clock, and you don’t want to be remembered as the guy/girl who couldn’t write properly, do you? Check, check, check and check again!
6. Negatively Implicating Yourself in a Legally Binding Statement
No one likes to dwell on the possibility of bad things happening. However, the reality is that every person, at least once in their lifetime, becomes caught up in a potentially career or life ruining situation. For example, you might clash with a fellow employee, commit a crime (intentionally or unintentionally), become the victim of mistaken identity or stand wrongly accused of a crime. In such situations you will be required to write a statement that gives you the opportunity to put your version of events across on paper. This statement will help you tell your side of the story. However, a few poorly worded sentences and it could land you in hot water. Therefore it’s imperative that you take your time when writing important, factual statements. Grammar check the document thoroughly to ensure it reflects exactly what happened. The last thing you want is to negatively implicate yourself through the use of poor wording. Leave nothing to misinterpretation, and be careful of sentences that have the potential to be twisted under interrogation.
Writing is a powerful tool that can work for and against you, depending on your level of ability. That said; no matter how adept you become at using the written word, never become complacent. Grammar check every piece of work for maximum peace of mind.