When I think about grammar, I remember why I chose to be in the Communication Studies program at MacEwan. BCSC 100, Grammar and Composition, was one of my favourite courses and one that I got the most out of. That being said, I feel as though I am alone in stating that fact. Most of the people I talk to hate grammar and anything to do with comma splices or dangling modifiers (which still give me trouble, I’ll admit). However, I went into the program knowing that I wanted to be a copy editor at some point, and work with either a magazine or book publisher. Correcting other peoples’ work is a very strange, almost egotistical calling, but it is something that I plan to pursue in the future.
Knowing that grammar and the copy editing profession are dying is very traumatic to me. Imagining that books, and articles, and instruction manuals could be published without proper editing sends shivers down my spine. I believe that in a world so connected by social media, grammar is even more important because what you present online reflects you as a person. Ensuring that your grammar is correct and your spelling is flawless shows that you care about what you’re saying and you care that the message is being received how you intended. Grammar shows that you are a professional, and as communications student, this should be a top priority.
I handed in a proposal for an assignment recently, and I’ll admit that I did not spend as much time as I should have editing. This showed when I received it back. The first word of the introduction was misspelled. The first word of the opening sentence! I felt like I needed to personally apologize to Patricia Porter for such carelessness from a third year communications student. However, my mistake illustrates why grammar is important and why copy editors are a saving grace of any industry. It saves you from embarrassment (Sorry, Patricia!) and seeming as though you do not know what you are talking about. Professionalism and authority plays a major part in communicating effectively to the public, whether it is on social media, in a book, or in a newspaper. Grammar is the key to cultivating that image of professionalism and authority.