The importance of grammar in your suitability reports

The importance of grammar in your suitability reports

Ed Evans

This is the last article in our series of blogs on how to make your suitability reports more reader-friendly and engaging, and this week I’ll be trying doubly hard to avoid getting egg on my face as I tackle the potential banana skin that is grammar.

Although I would like to think that I have a reasonable command of the English language, I’m certainly not an expert in grammar. Therefore rather than littering the internet with yet another crash course on their, there and they’re or when to use a semicolon rather than a comma, I thought I’d concentrate on the reasons why it’s important to pay particular attention to grammar in your suitability reports, and all other business communications.

Grammar can change the meaning of a sentence

The use of incorrect grammar within a sentence can at worst render it meaningless and at best change its meaning. When talking aloud, we convey meaning using intonation and our body language – grammar allows us to do this within our writing. Here’s a classic example of how adding punctuation to a sentence can dramatically change its meaning:

A woman without her man is nothing.

A woman: without her, man is nothing.

Poor grammar weakens your authority

Bad grammar unnerves readers. Think about it – if you can’t be bothered to get grammar right, your clients may well start to think “what else have you got wrong?”. Whereas people who care about their writing demonstrate credibility, professionalism and accuracy in their work.

Poor grammar is distracting to the reader

If the reader has to go back and re-read a sentence several times because they’re not quite sure what it means, it spoils their reading experience and they’re quite likely to misunderstand the point, or even give up trying and not read any further.

In summary the better the grammar, the clearer the message, and the greater the likelihood that the reader will understand the intent and meaning – ultimately this is what good communication is all about. So whilst it may be considered a bit boring to study correct grammar, it really is worth the time and effort. If you don’t know the rules of grammar, then you will never be able to communicate clearly and effectively.

I’d like to leave you with a quip I came across a few months ago which I think encapsulates the importance of grammar in a nutshell, although those with Victorian sensibilities may wish to stop reading now!

“Grammar: it’s the difference between knowing your sh*t and knowing you’re sh*t.”

As always, if you got a spare minute, please leave a comment – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Many of the concepts I’ve written about in this series of blogs are highlighted in our suitability report template. See how you can make your suitability reports more reader-friendly and engaging – download your free suitability report template here.

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