I was reading through Kboards today and stumbled across a post where folks were discussing whether they’d download a free book if the preview of the book showed obvious grammar errors. (In this case it was putting punctuation outside the quotation marks for dialogue.)
My answer: HELL NO!
The book I just wrote is about online dating. And I felt basic grammar was important enough in that setting to dedicate a whole chapter to it. And that wasn’t even for people trying to make a living off of their writing. That was just for guys trying to find some woman to go to dinner with.
I just think it’s basic enough to master you’re vs. your, their vs. they’re, two vs. to vs. too, who’s vs.whose, and it’s vs. its that anyone who chooses not to and wants to get ahead through written communication is showing a lack of concern, attention to detail, and respect for those they’re communicating with.
From a dating perspective, a man who can’t get those basics right consistently is a man who just doesn’t interest me. (And if he’s in a professional career like lawyer or consultant, someone who won’t go far in his career. Or, if he has, isn’t flexible enough to adjust to changing circumstances since somewhere in his organization someone is covering his ass and making him look good.)
Look. We all make mistakes. (Lord knows I do!) Hell, I’ve probably made a grammar error somewhere in this post. But to consistently show a lack of knowledge of something so basic as those five word combinations is an insult to whoever it is you’re intending to communicate with.
There is no “creativity” involved in wording like that. It’s not artistic expression. It’s not being an individual.
(You want to be a really creative individual, make up an entirely new language. See how that goes.)
Now. Having said that, you’ll see that in non-formal writing I fully believe in using incomplete sentences and certain words that are most appropriately used in casual verbal communication. That, to me, is personal choice and style.
I just think that if you’re going to stop and write things down, the least you can do is spell the words right and follow the basic conventions like capitalization, paragraph breaks, and period usage.