An English professor friend of mine posted this on Facebook, and it struck a chord with me. While I will never claim to be an expert grammarian (even though I did very well in my Professional and Technical Editing class in grad school), I have to admit I’m a bit of a stickler for good grammar as well. I suppose because some of the basics come so easily to me, I don’t understand why they don’t for others. I’m always surprised to see people who are pursuing Master’s degrees in technical writing have such poor grammar. Okay, not everyone, but a good portion of them. How did they get through high school and college and still not have some of these basics down as described in the article above? I don’t understand that concept. The whole essence of being a technical writer, to me, is being that precise and picky when writing or editing content. If words are not crafted in a particular way, their meanings or messages are lost or misconstrued, and that can be disasterous. I happen to know that the part-time job I have at an academic publishing house was originally gained because I was the only one who actually sent a cover letter that was written in a grammatically correct way.
This article truly speaks to me, and it’s why I try to work very hard at being as detail oriented as I can be, because it’s the difference between getting a job and keeping a job.