How Important Are Grammar Rules?

How Important Are Grammar Rules?
If you’re writing a memoir, by definition you’re now a writer. For the first time since high school, you may be thinking about grammar. But is that really necessary?
My quick answer is that, yes, most of us could use a grammar refresher course. I found an audio course for $179 that you can take right from your computer on September 20. Click here to learn more. (We do not have any connection to that company; we neither receive a share of the profits nor have taken any courses there ourselves to recommend.)
This particular course aims to help you get rid of some bad writing habits like splitting infinitives, ending sentences with prepositions and using passive voice. Are those habits so evil? Not really. If anything, these rules are losing favor and become antiquated. But as a writer, you should be aware of them. You should recognize these “flaws” when you see them and limit them in your own writing. But I would not say you must eliminate them altogether. Take this sentence: “I want to always know where you’ll be.” While that demonstrates a split infinitive—always splits the infinitive to know—it’s probably the clearest and most efficient way of expressing that thought. However, it’s not the only way; there are lots of ways to say the same thing. Learning these rules will open your eyes to all of the options, and you can improve the impact of your writing if you avoid “breaking” these rules as much as possible.

If you’re writing a memoir, by definition you’re now a writer. For the first time since high school, you may be thinking about grammar. But is that really necessary?

My quick answer is that, yes, most of us could use a grammar refresher course. I found an audio course for $179 that you can take right from your computer on September 20. Click here to learn more. (We do not have any connection to that company; we neither receive a share of the profits nor have taken any courses there ourselves to recommend.)

This particular course aims to help you get rid of some bad writing habits like splitting infinitives, ending sentences with prepositions and using passive voice. Are those habits so evil? Not really. If anything, these rules are losing favor and become antiquated. But as a writer, you should be aware of them. You should recognize these “flaws” when you see them and limit them in your own writing. But I would not say you must eliminate them altogether. Take this sentence: “I want to always know where you’ll be.” While that demonstrates a split infinitive—always splits the infinitive to know—it’s probably the clearest and most efficient way of expressing that thought. However, it’s not the only way; there are lots of ways to say the same thing. Learning these rules will open your eyes to all of the options, and you can improve the impact of your writing if you avoid “breaking” these rules as much as possible.