Are Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling Important?

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PUGS is my acronym for the words punctuation, usage, grammar and spelling. Just because I have a degree in English education doesn’t mean that everyone else does. If you have any trouble with any of these things, there is a website that can help you. All of these things, in relation to the way you communicate online, are important. If you don’t have a firm grasp on any of these, how do you expect to be taken seriously? Imagine that you get an email from someone who sounds like a third-grader. You can’t help but wondering how that person got hired. That’s how people look at others who cannot communicate well in written form. Luckily, there is SpellChecker, ready to help.

SpellChecker is an online spelling, grammar, and thesaurus tool. It’s so simple, a third-grader would actually be able to use — and benefit from — it. Simply type or paste your text into the box, and click the SpellCheck button. A new box will pop open with your words inside. You can now choose from one of three options: SpellChecker, Grammar, and Thesaurus. The SpellChecker tab will highlight in bold red any words that you have spelled incorrectly. There will be an area under your text showing suggested replacements for the wrongly spelled word.

The next tab is the Grammar tab. Once you click on that, anything they consider to be improper use of grammar will be highlighted with blue underlined text. Again, there will be suggested replacements underneath. Clicking the Thesaurus tab will again highlight you in blue underlined words, and give you suggestions for other words you can use instead. That is very helpful, and makes it much faster to determine when you’re using any particular word too much.

The next time you write for your job, your blog, or even in an email, consider using Spellchecker.

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15 thoughts on “Are Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling Important?”

  1. Yes. Saying it is not important is exactly the same as saying we can ignore the structure of an IP packet and still expect it to work. People are just better at error correction, but we are not superhuman.

    This is as a person who recently had to understand an email sent as a single multi-line sentence, with no sentence structure and with large numbers of the words in ‘SMS’ form. I had to send back a summary mail to confirm that I had understood the details.

  2. I never had any large respect for good spelling. That is my feeling yet. Before the spelling-book came with its arbitrary forms, men unconsciously revealed shades of their characters and also added enlightening shades of expression to what they wrote by their spelling, and so it is possible that the spelling-book has been a doubtful benevolence to us.
    – Mark Twain

    …ours is a mongrel language which started with a child’s vocabulary of three hundred words, and now consists of two hundred and twenty-five thousand; the whole lot, with the exception of the original and legitimate three hundred, borrowed, stolen, smouched from every unwatched language under the sun, the spelling of each individual word of the lot locating the source of the theft and preserving the memory of the revered crime.
    – Mark Twain

  3. IMHO…Words can be used like brush strokes on a painting. Different observers may take different things from the creation, but in the end it is the intent of the creator that determines what is correct. Mis-spelling allows for the insertion of character and expression into creative writing. The dictionary is always behind because it, like the painting, is only a reflection of what is true. Nuf said.

  4. Correct spelling and punctuation are vital for effective communication, as an example, just look at the variations of the word ‘to’ – ‘too’ – ‘two’ for example.

    As for punctuation, take the following sentence – by adding 1 simple comma, the entire meaning is changed:

    1} ‘My wife doesn’t understand me’
    2} ‘My wife doesn’t, understand me?’

    How can we expect folks to understand what we’re trying to say, if we don’t give any clues?

  5. It’s the responsibility of the writer or speaker to address the intended audience appropriately.

    Sure, it’s perfectly acceptable to address pals with a sentence such as: “Yo, wher U B chillin 2-nite?”

    However, if you address a prospective employer, coworker, professional conference or business prospect with such nonsense, you show disrespect, poor judgment and also present yourself as uneducated and undisciplined. This is true whether these impressions are intended or correct, or not intended or correct.

    When you speak with your children or subordinates, or in the presence of them in this manner, you not only present these same impressions, but also present the impression that you believe such behavior is perfectly proper. They become disadvantaged by having a poor example of how to properly communicate, and how to judge their audience and communicate properly with them.

    As with any art form, the intended audience in verbal and written communication must be considered, or the meaning, context and intention is likely to be lost.

  6. This product was unable to identify the simple grammatical error in the following sentence; “Please send the document to John and myself”

    Thumbs down!

  7. One of my particular pet peeves is when people use “then” instead of “than”. The Spell Checker Applications don’t usually pick up incorrect usage of the English language if a word is spelled correctly but used in he wrong context.

  8. Yes, they are important. For example, if you had wanted to separate “Grammar and Spelling” in your title, it would have read, “Are Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling Important?”

  9. With so many tools available, there is no excuse for the spelling and grammar errors found in online or other communication venues. My pet peeve is members of microblogs, Twitter, etc. using text-speak as if we are all 13 and only have two thumbs for typing. If you cannot say it in 140 characters or less, you need to become more succinct in your message.

  10. Yes, it’s important. Like it or not, people judge you by how you write, and how you speak. If you continually misuse to,too and two, or your and you’re, and speak using ‘like’ as every third word in your sentences, you can’t possibly be respected or taken seriously.

    Techzen’s “pseudophilosophy” aside, there is no excuse, no justification for lack of attention to detail, failure to obey the rules. There is no excuse for being sloppy. There are tools out there to assist you with spelling and grammar. There are schools to teach you the rules. Perhaps instead of figuring out how to ditch class, avoid learning, and find parties, our little darlings should stay in class, learn the rules, learn how to write and speak the language, and learn how to be a part of society. To do otherwise is to let gang language and gang pseudoculture win.

  11. My English degree tells me it’s important to know the rules before you break the rules. There are obviously times when using colloquial phrases and such is an appropriate way to communicate, but people who don’t know the rules make my eyeballs itch.

    I read a promo from a Web hosting startup which seemed to have good prices. However, their “about” page was a joke — it honestly looked as though some 7th grade boys got together and sent texts to each other to hash it out, leaving in all misspellings and lolspeak.

    Writing conversationally is an art. It’s important to do it in such a way that you sound like a personable voice — rather than an infantile, ignorant idiot. (Alliteration: I haz it.)

    To sum up: yes.

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