This morning I posted on Twitter how periods go inside the quotation marks. It’s one of the things that drives me insane since the rule is the period always goes inside, unlike a question mark or exclamation point. And it was just frustration as I was quoting something in something I was reading that needed some grammar editing.
To which it started a discussion with some of my followers about what’s the right method, how the rules are different in other languages and just on grammar as a whole. At one point I blurted out I should write blog posts with simple grammar lessons. In between some of the your versus you’re jokes, some people encouraged me to do it.
But is that a good idea or is it just wasting my time?
I know I care about grammar, though I do make mistakes. I have friends who care to varying degrees. Our common link is we’ve all been writers or editors at some point in our lives. Of course we care about it.
But what about everyone else? Since I work in social media, I frequently see what people are writing. It makes me cringe. If they cared, though, they’d turn off the caps lock and take care in what they wrote. They’d use complete sentences and use periods.
I’ve always felt knowing grammar rules and being able to spell (or at least being able to fix your mistakes when you edit) is a good thing because it makes you look smart and professional. If you receive a resume and cover letter with mistakes, what do you do with it? I know people who toss it in the trash. If you wrote a proposal at work that was filled with errors, do you think your superiors would take you seriously?
But do people want to even appear smart and professional any more? That’s an interesting question considering the things I see people spew on social media and across the Internet. Like I say, think before you post something, but it feels like there’s not a lot of thinking happening before people post.
So the question here is — If they don’t care about grammar and coming off as smart, why should I care? And I full well know why I care: I’m a perfectionist and want the best out of myself. And because I want the best out of myself, I want the best out of others. Maybe I have high standards, but we all should be striving to be the best we can be, right? It’s probably why I can be demanding, but the people who have worked for me also will tell you that I made them better. And that’s all I want is to drive people to achieve their goals and to be at their best.
And I think it starts with knowing something as simple as the differences between their, they’re and there.