We had a discussion in class the other day on the topic of grammar and punctuation. Our class discussed whether we trust media outlets who posts articles with grammatical errors in them. This got me thinking about my writing and how I feel self-conscious about using correct grammar and punctuation.
Growing up in a small North Carolina mountain county, funding for our public education system was limited. My proper English skills are not the best. I’ve never felt that I’ve had the strongest English background. And now that I’m pursuing a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from UNC, I feel even more self-conscious about my writing. I want to be viewed a strong communicator.
My writing ability absolutely matters. Often we are judged by our written communication skills. Therefore I’ve been working extremely hard to learn correct grammar and punctuation. In class when we discussed how we felt about media outlets publishing articles with incorrect grammar and how that swayed our opinions about the legitimacy of the source, I realized that incorrect grammar does affect how I perceive the legitimacy of the author.
Some of my classmates, such as Jasmine, have been blessed with outstanding English backgrounds. It’s a wonderful skill to pick up at a young age. For the rest of us who were taught double negatives in school, there’s still hope. I’ve noticed that my writing has dramatically improved just by increasing the frequency of my writing. Having to post at least three times per week on my blog is just one of the ways I get to practice and improve.
Proper grammar and punctuation does matter. However, I think it’s more important to look at what’s being said in the body of work. Still, incorrect spelling and misplaced commas distract from the importance of that content.