Column: Read before burning


Commentary by Curtis Honeycutt

I truly believe good grammar can make your life more awesome. It can lead to job opportunities, romantic relationships and even a syndicated column that makes you hyper-specifically famous. Conversely, bad grammar can turn your life into a country song. You can lose your job, your truck, your honey and your dog if your grasp of language suffers. That’s not entirely true; your dog will always forgive you.

Today, I want to encourage you to read your emails twice before sending them. I’ll go one step further and say the same rule applies to tweets and Facebook posts. Fairly or not, people make judgments about you based on the level of correctness of your syntax.

The other day I received a hilariously ironic email that decried the state of grammar among our nation’s youths. The writer passionately went on for a page-length paragraph about how our collective grammar is going down the drain. She had some fair points; however, the subject line of her email was “Grammer Guy.” That’s my other column.

“Grammer Guy” is a column dedicated to the acting brilliance and smooth baritone voice of Kelsey Grammer. Did you know he received Emmy nominations on three different television series for portraying Frasier Crane? Personally, I prefer his work as the voice of Sideshow Bob in “The Simpsons.”

OK, so “Grammer Guy” isn’t a thing. Although, if enough people respond positively to this article, I just may have to write it. I only point out the irony of a gaffe like “Grammer Guy” because the lady who sent me the email was railing against the state of our careless and uninformed grammar.

There are a few easy ways to avoid spelling and grammar gaffes in your public communications. First, read your work aloud prior to sending it. You’ll catch at least half of your errors merely by reading to yourself. Secondly, get another set of eyes on your writing before hitting the send button. The need for a proofreader increases in direct proportion to your level of fervor. If you’re fired up, have someone you trust read over your shoulder before you put your two cents out in the world. Double-check your grammar before laying down the hammer.