People often exhibit disdain towards the use of good grammar, dismissing it as anachronistic, irrelevant, and boring! After all is there really a place for it in our fast- connecting world and the abbreviated way in which we communicate with one another these days?  

The answer is, yes, grammar does matter. As a writer and authorpreneur attempting to build a brand for yourself, anything that could potentially damage that is crucial to get right. Grammar forms the basis of good communication – the better it is, the clearer the meaning and the more chance you have of getting your message across and understood.

Here are some things to consider:


Pay close attention to verb tenses, spelling, punctuation, contractions, capitalization and word usage. Repeated errors such as using different tenses detract from your message and frustrate the reader.  


Sentences that ramble endlessly lose the reader’s interest and dilute the point you are trying to get across. Shorter sentences are almost always more effective than longer ones. Use simple words wherever possible and cut out superfluous ones.


The employment of good grammar results in clarity of purpose and meaning. Poorly written work that requires constant re-reading for comprehension only serves to frustrate the reader and can soon lead to disinterest. You want to see your book on a best-seller list not used to prop up a table leg!


Correct grammar usage builds trust. If you cannot effectively communicate with your target market, then how can they trust you? If you are unable to write about your own field of expertise correctly then how expert really are you? Good grammar not only makes your work more readable it also makes it more compelling. You are staking your reputation on being an authority. Don’t risk having your knowledge and professionalism questioned because of poor grammar usage.

Where to get help

As a starting point go online. There are many spell and grammar check tools available. Some are better than others. There are also many excellent written style and grammar guides. Probably the best route, however, is to use a good editor. Toronto print and publishing consultant, Publisher Production Solutions can offer recommendations on professional editors. 

Remember that good grammar usage is synonymous with attention to detail and can mean the difference between being an average writer and an excellent one.

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Mary Vaux-ClarkMary Vaux-Clark is a freelance editor, proof-reader and writer. Her areas of interest include current affairs, travel, history and sport. She has travelled widely and worked in Hong Kong as an editor and ESL teacher for over ten years.

Come to our booth at Word on the Street on September 23, 2018 at the Harbourfront Centre! LEARN MORE