Jane Straus - Introduction

The Importance of Good Grammar


Jane Straus is the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation and developer of GrammarBook.com


While global warming won’t worsen if you don’t put a comma in the right place, you may be disappointed when your dinner order arrives. If the menu says, All dinners served with soup, salad or fries, does this mean you get soup and a choice of salad or fries? Or do you get only one of the three options? When you ask the waiter, he seems annoyed by being asked once again by another stupid customer. Yet the confusion could be resolved so easily if only the menu designers knew just a smidgeon about grammar and punctuation.


We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Well, we are also what we write, or at least this is how we are perceived by others. When you see glaring punctuation or grammar errors on a website, do you trust that business completely with your money? Maybe you shouldn’t. I question whether the online business is legitimate or has adequate capital resources if it can’t bother to have at least its home page proofread.


In fact, by paying attention to these details, many people discover scams and spare themselves from identity theft. Like me, you must have received emails requesting personal information from large companies. But then you click on the URL given and notice something fishy. The grammatical structure of the sentences is not quite right, the spelling is sloppy, or the commas and semicolons are misplaced. Fraud!  If you don’t have basic English skills under your belt, you may pay a high price. Thieves are counting on our ignorance to bilk us for the millions of dollars they get from us yearly, all because we don’t keep our grammar and punctuation skills honed!


So if you want to get what you ordered at the restaurant, if you want to do business with reputable companies, and if you don’t want to have your identity stolen online, then read my blogs filled with valuable English usage tips, quizzes, brainteasers, and word play.