Friday, 25 October 2013

Getting it right

Okay, I admit it. I'm a stickler for good grammar and spelling. It drives me insane when I see grammatical errors and simple spelling mistakes, particularly in articles or any written communications aimed at children. How can we expect them to learn proper usage of English grammar and spelling if the books and magazines they read are littered with errors?

I'm currently the unofficial proof reader of the newsletter produced by the school I work in - now, on the whole, it's pretty good, as you would expect from a school. But I've been in some schools and seen letters produced by some schools that have very silly mistakes in the most basic of grammar and spelling. Tut, tut.

Now, I'm not perfect. I know that - no-one can be. I'm sure I've made lots of such mistakes in my own writing. Lots of articles and books have mistakes in them that have been missed or misused by the spell checker, or the eagle eyes of the author, editor or proof reader. It's just one of those things.

I do worry, however, in the days of text speak, that our youngsters will not only lose the ability to spell and form sentences correctly that they won't even care! But for we professional writers, our standards must be high. It would be unlikely that an editor or publisher, when faced with a pitch or article that has impeccable spelling and grammar and one that has not, for them to chose the one that has not. Your pitch not only tells the editor your intentions for the article, but it gives them a good idea about your standard of spelling and grammar and ability to construct a sound and engaging piece of writing too, one they aren't going to have to do a lot changes to or spend a lot of time getting ready for print.

So let's hear it for sticklers all over the world - there aren't many of us left! And don't forget to get your spelling and grammar as perfect as it can be in your pitches and articles. If you don't know, learn. There are plenty of books out there on the subject and there's always the Internet for advice too - and other writers.

So what do you think?

Happy writing!

Julie xx

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