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Why does good grammar matter?

Research suggests that employing proper grammar can significantly enhance your salary and career trajectory.
Posted at 3:37 PM, Mar 04, 2024

It's March 4, and we're celebrating National Grammar Day.

It's a celebration of language and an important reminder that using good grammar helps express ideas clearly, accurately, and professionally. Not surprisingly, a small mistake like an extra apostrophe or a wrong comma could affect your chances of getting a promotion.

According to a study conducted by Grammarly and published in the Harvard Business Review, professionals with six to nine promotions over their 10-year careers made 45% fewer grammar errors than those with one to four promotions in the same time frame. It looks like good grammar really does pay off!

The study also suggests that people who stay over 10 years at one company make 20% more grammar errors than those who have had six jobs in the same time period, and it attributes this to two reasons: Strong grammarians may chase better jobs, or job-changers likely review resumes more often.

Grammar holds immense importance, but Ellen Jovin, the mind behind the "Grammar Table," wants everyone to realize that grasping it can be engaging and far from boring.

"I love grammar and I love talking. So it merged two of my main interests," Jovin told Scripps News. 

In 2018, Jovin placed a folding table on a Manhattan sidewalk, labeled it "Grammar Table," and  instantly, pedestrians started asking questions and sharing stories. The table is now a traveling pop-up grammar advice stand that has been to all 50 states.

On her Instagram account, Jovin shares pictures from her travels along with a few clever diagrams dissecting the lyrics of popular songs, like Pink Floyd's grammar-defying "Another Brick in the Wall" and Vampire Weekend's witty tune "Oxford Comma."

Jovin says she learned sentence diagramming the year the Pink Floyd song came out, which was 1979. According to Jovin's posts, diagramming helps you understand how sentences are built and why precision matters in grammar.