I Don't Tolerate Poor Grammar

This essay by Cheryl Connor originally appeared on Forbes on 10/21/12.

And I’m not alone. Even the Wall Street Journal agrees.

Poor grammar and writing is an epidemic in the workplace. While the era of social media and texting has caused many to believe it’s a problem they couldn’t resolve, a number of businesses are finally finding the nerve to crack down. A recent HBR article by Kyle Wiens, I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar, noted wryly that in his company, anyone who thinks an apostrophe was one of the 12 apostles or who tosses commas around with the abandon of a shotgun would be fortunate to find their way to the foyer before he shows them the door.

His article drew 3,013 comments (ironically, many of them taking him to task for ending a sentence with a preposition and referring to “company” in the plural, a convention that while common in American English is apparently still frowned upon overseas.) Which brings up another point – have you ever noticed how much argument a discussion of grammar inspires? It seems the “grammar police” are most vigilant about the 1-2 archaic rules they hold dear, while they blithely break or ignore the dozens of rules they don’t know.


Read the full post on Forbes.