“Let’s eat, grandma.” I read the sticker on my advisors’ wall and chuckled. Underneath this, it reads “Lets eat grandma. Commas save lives.”
As an English major, spelling and grammar are very important things for me in my life. I see it all the time, people (my friends included) using the wrong “to” or the wrong “there,” or the wrong “your.” Jokingly, my friends call me the “grammar nazi.”
In this modern world, where spell check is at our finger tips and writing things down with a pen is becoming less and less common, are spelling and grammar still important skills to learn?
The simple answer is yes. Here’s why.
Let us say, for example, that you are a math major and you are applying for a job to be an accountant (math majors apply to be accountants, right? Clueless English major here). You’re applying to be an accountant, and you need a resume to apply for your job.
So you go online, list your skills, type everything out. and viola, your resume is complete. You’re all ready to go. Being the amazing math major and future accountant that you are, you have supervised 10 employees in your field in the past, and you’re fully qualified for the job.
Microsoft Word, however, thinks that employees should have an apostrophe (employee’s), and also, because your letter of reference reflects that you’re fully qualified for this position, the person that referred you writes that “your fully qualified for this position”.
Okay, silly mistakes, right? Yet, I bet your future employer will pick the candidate who used the right “you’re.”
In essence, how you communicate reflects who you are in different ways. It is the same way that different dialects are reflections of both who we are and where we came from using the wrong “to” may not be a huge mistake, but future employers are going to judge you partly on these communication skills, and learning grammar and spelling are parts of these skills.
In another example, let’s say for instance that you are an art major, and you have an art showcase coming up next week, where many pieces of your artwork will be shown. You create beautiful pieces of art, why do you have to learn how to spell or make sure that your subject and your verb agree with one another?
Well, you’re an art major, and you have this big art showcase coming up, and you have to write a description of your art piece, and because you’re such a good artist, your artwork is going to be displayed in a big fancy art museum.
So you write out your description of your beautiful painting and you say that the “affect” that my art work aims to have is that it wants to “envoke” a sense of “nostallgia” on “it’s” audience.”
Now this description of your artwork is forever in this museum, and you are forever haunted by it. So, use the correct “lets,” You might not only look better, you could save a life, too.
Ceilidh Adams is the Opinion Editor for The Comment. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.