Last weekend , my young son came home from school with his SPAG homework (spelling, punctuation and grammar for those of you not ‘in the know’ of current primary school teaching methods!). Being a bit of a grammar fiend, helping him should have been right up my street! Famous last words! I was met by a sea of technical terms, being asked to help him label subordinate conjunctions, identify fronted adverbials and recognise compound sentences. All well and good for a language expert you might say, but in a generation where far too many still struggle to read and write properly, surely there’s a lot to be said for focusing learning on how to use language properly rather than giving everything a label?
Here at Written Right we’re big believers that good grammar is one of the best keys to communicating effectively, but it appears it can achieve a whole lot more too. Click here to see a recent article linking good grammar to salary achievement.
We’ve all heard the old saying The devil is in the detail, which is why we at Written Right can be your angels in disguise! Here are a few recent examples which we’ve come across recently which might make you smile!
Commas are the difference between embarrassment at the very least!
“Sit down Mr Smith”, rather than “Sit down, Mr Smith”. The original text could have resulted in Mr Smith asking people to kindly give him some space!
“Walk on Charlie”, rather than “Walk on, Charlie”. As above, poor Charlie’s space could feel rather invaded, never mind Charlie feeling squashed!
Choosing the right word.
How many words are there that sound very similar but have subtly or even not subtly different meanings? Their, there, hear, here, to, too…the list goes on! My favourite I heard recently was “You’re wet clothes”. The intention was of course “your wet clothes”, referring to someone’s possessions, but no doubt the original inference could have left someone feeling like soggy trousers!
Another one that made me chuckles was “Recycling preserves are planet”. I’m not quite sure what jam or marmalade have got to do with anything! But our team at Written Wright certainly cringed a little at this one!