Grammatical inefficiency

Of all the academic knowledge a student can learn while in school none is more important than the use of correct grammar.

The spell check function on word-processing software has allowed students to “edit” their work with little effort. Unfortunately, spell check cannot tell you that you should have used “effect” when you actually used “affect” or that “right” and “write” have very different meanings.

It is unacceptable that a person could receive a passing grade on a 10-page term paper when he or she uses the wrong “to” or when verb tense changes from paragraph to paragraph. Professors must demand more from students, and conversely, students need to be taught proper grammar.

One of the primary reasons for this problem stems from the society in which we live in. Americans tend to speak in a different manner than how the English language was meant to be spoken. We say words such as “yeah” and “like” hundreds of times a day subconsciously, adding no meaning or context to our sentences. I am certainly guilty of using improper speech and have not taken precautionary measures to prevent it.

Instant messaging over the Internet, texting and other technological innovations have allowed us to communicate at an unfathomable rate. The faster we communicate, the more grammatical corners we tend to cut. There is nothing wrong with shorthand or using letters in place of words as long as the person you are communicating with understands the message.

The fundamental problem arises when students need to communicate with potential employers, professors and other people in the professional world. We were always instructed to go to college and get an education, but what does that really mean?

Technical skills in a specialized field are important, but if you cannot communicate in an interview or on a written application, it will likely be difficult to get your desired position. An education in language and effective communication are often more helpful in the long run than the core classes of your program. n