Is Grammer Important?

Subject: Is Grammer Important?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- AXIONET -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 20:09:08 -0400

Anthony Markatos <tonymar -at- HOTMAIL -dot- COM> wrote:

>Is good grammar important for effective technical
>communications? About six months ago, I read a book
>on procedures writing that said "Numerous studies have
>concluded that there is no correlation at all between
>effective technical communications and grammar".

Maybe I still have too academic a turn of mind, but I'm suspicious of
comments supported by "numerous studies" but don't list them.

More importantly,it's hard to tell from this quote exactly what is

If the writers mean that tech-writers don't have to follow the strict
rules of grammar that are taught in high schools (and that are usually
about 20 or 30 years behind the way that the language is spoken), then
they are right. You'll probably communicate better if you follow
contemporary use.

However, if they mean that there is nothing to gain by following the
conventions of the language, then the statement is a contradiction.
Following the conventions of language allows for clarity, precision, and
brevity. In other words, in this sense, grammar is what permits any kind
of effective communication.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Co-ordinator ,Vancouver Technical Communicators' Co-op List
Vancouver, BC, Canada
(604) 421-7189 or 687-2133
bbyfield -at- axionet or bruce -at- dataphile-ca -dot- com

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