Importance of Grammar

Okay, its time for us to look at the first rule of writing: good grammar.

Grammar is the science of language. As every field of study depends on its own rules to evolve, language has its own rules defined under the cute name of ‘Grammar.’ ‘Grammar’ hails from grammaire (French), grammatikos (Greek), or grammatica (Latin), all meaning “relating to letters,” according to the Oxford Concise Dictionary.

Why we require grammar to our writing is often disputed. Spoken communication usually expands outside the boundaries of grammar and draws its own territories, usage rules of speech. Written language, however, retains the same old forte of usage rules, and ever since showed inhibition to come out.

Written language in this sense always retained its grace and elegance, while spoken discourse went out of its way defaming itself. “I Gotta do it!” “Are you gonna come?” and much more of those colloquial usage forms prove this fact. Such forms can be described by one word (I found used in “Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr.,) indefensible.

You may wonder why the written word is important in today's web-based world. Weaker writers can today study in online universities to polish their grammar knowledge. You can easily understand that the roots of colloquial usage trace back to the barbaric era. Spoken language is used by the speaking lot in millions, while written language is the realm of writing lot, in thousands. In a world of entropy (disorder), it is easier to assume that there are more disorganized people in a million than in a thousand; moreover, the recognized writers are authorities of language, who get published and become famous for the sheer excellence of their language.

Still, the sudden influx of newer publishing technologies and Internet enabled every rookie in the remotest corners of the earth publish their own content free. This has definitely undermined the elegance, importance, and worth of writing.

Though grammar retains its importance today (thanks to various ventures for that, undertaken by professionals), there are so many people trying to see their content in action, without any pain for the rules they kill. Just imagine living in anarchy. Writing off grammar is exactly that. Anyone can do anything, no government, no law, no courts; anyone can commit any sort of crime. Is such a world lovely to you? If not, why would such a world be lovely in writing? Simply because you hate rules? Any idea how bad it can get if you don’t take steps now?

Competition is in every field, and only the worthy people, people with talent and mind for hard work only succeed. If we collectively undermine the rules in a field, there will only be unfair competition. Unworthy lot can succeed; they can only make the world go worse. So, rules are just about as important in grammar as it is in any other field.

A language is more elegant, beautiful, and legible when it goes by the rules of grammar, usage, and style. While everyone of these is equally important, slips in grammar makes it all worthless. Proper grammar enables you to publish content online or offline with reputed publishers. That itself is a reward, even if you don’t earn much by publications.

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Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008

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