Monday, January 18, 2021

Editorial: Grammar essential for all

While people may take their literacy for granted, writing is an incredibly powerful and influential tool on the road to success.

Consider this: What does your writing say about you?

We’ve all scrolled through Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds and probably been stunned at the lack of English competency (or maybe that’s more of a journalist thing).

You read these statuses and tweets that contain numerous typos, spelling and grammar is all over the place, and you could swear the author has a severe allergy to punctuation.

Of course, it’s easy to write off this sloppiness by considering the medium it is broadcast through — after all, social media tends to be a more casual, carefree platform for self-expression.

But sadly, this trend has transcended into all facets of our daily routine. Whether it be in our academic assignments or our professional responsibilities, the quality of writing has been on a downward trend.

The truth is, people just don’t place value on clean, competent and concise writing anymore.

Well, we should.

In nearly every career field, some combination of resumes and cover letters — and perhaps other writing endeavors — are used as the first line of defense for employers weeding through an avalanche of job applications.

And isn’t it important to make a positive first impression? In the job market, your writing is just that.

While other career fields might not place such a heavy emphasis on writing as a vital skill in the workplace, you might not get your chance in the workplace without demonstrating quality writing to begin with.

And while social media tends to have a less-professional atmosphere, businesses are looking more and more at social media as a way for potential candidates to distinguish themselves — for better or worse.

Subject matter counts, too.

Sure, a status about how sick you feel one day, or detailing an annoying event in your life, isn’t likely to cost you a job in the future. But habitual complaining, swearing or berating aren’t likely to peak the interest of employers (especially if these posts are directly related to dissatisfaction at a current workplace).

So while one specific career path might not force workers to demonstrate adequate understanding of the English language on a routine basis, nearly every field of work requires strong writing skills during the hiring process.

Perhaps a writing class or two wouldn’t hurt before heading out of Plattsburgh.

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