Does it matter if your blog posts follow grammar rules?
There are two sides (at least) to every argument, but the Damsel would like you to consider the following:
1. What is the point of writing? Is it purely self-expression, or is it communication? If it doesn't matter if anyone understands you, then grammar really isn't important. If your point is just to bellow a primal scream, feel free to break all the rules.
2. If you want people to understand what you write, then grammar rules are there to smooth the way. It takes practice to write well, but it's worth the effort because more people will understand you--and that's the first step in communication.
3. Orson Scott Card has said that in writing, three things are most important: faith, hope and clarity. What is clarity? To write so that your meaning is perfectly clear. Good grammar is a tool to make this possible.
4. Even if it seems that badly written stuff is understandable, you take a risk by writing this way. What's clear to you may not be clear to someone else when you don't follow the rules. And, even if your meaning is nice and clear, bad grammar will put some readers off. Maybe you don't care about that. But the truth is, when that happens, communication ends. And to the Damsel, that's just plain sad.
5. Not only will correct grammar make you easier to understand, but you'll look more polished and professional. That doesn't mean you'll sound hoity-toity. People will believe what you write. They will connect. Isn't that what we all want?
So what do you do, beyond taking 7th grade English over again? Here are some suggestions for writing better on your blog:
- Have someone you trust proofread your posts before making them live.
- Create your posts in MS Word or another good word processor and take advantage of the built in grammar checker. It's not always right, but it's a great place to start.
- Read a lot. You'll acquire, over time, a natural feel for correct writing.
Margot is a mom of seven and pretty much crazy from it. Online she's known as the Damsel in Dis Dress and blogs at the Old School (http://www.mynewoldschool.com/) and twitters at @the_damsel.