Sunday, June 8, 2008

Grammar in The Wrong Hands Can Be Dangerous

As a writer of web content, I'm going to take a minute to vent here. After all, if I can't do it here, where can I do it? OK, so there is your fair warning - this post isn't necessarily about working from home or fatherhood ... deal with it.

What has happened to the grammatical standards of the English language? Perhaps the Internet and all of it's fast-paced slang abbreviations killed it. Maybe, just maybe, we allowed it to die because nobody really held an interest in keeping it alive anymore.

I write for several places online, and am endeavoring to break into the offline markets as well. My concern for the future of English grammar comes from these writing experiences. Many times I have seen copy editors just ignore grammar issues an approve stuff anyway. That is disconcerting enough. However, when I see copy editors actually make corrections that are wrong and publish them to a group of people - hold the phone, we've got real issues now!

Not only does this impact the person who wrote the piece, but it also impacts everyone who is "learning" from this editor's feedback. While the editor's job should be to make corrections and bring things up to speed - all the while training folks, it doesn't always happen this way. So what happens when an editor gets it wrong and actually pushes the "correction" out to his staff? A group of people have just become more ignorant of proper grammar and are farther behind the writer's curve for having listened to him.

Now you know the reason for the title of my post. Grammar in the wrong hands truly can be dangerous. My only question now is how to communicate the truth to the copy editor without getting slapped in my wallet.

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