How Bad Grammar Affects Professionalism


The way in which a person speaks, in both what they choose to say and how they choose to say it, can reflect a lot about them as an individual. Many commonly use their personal voices and diction as a way to display intelligence, but society’s increasingly informal writing tendencies can lessen perceived intelligence in the professional world. In this day and age, informal writing is made popular through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Through these platforms, people are encouraged to speak socially, often and informally, and they seem to type exactly what they are thinking without an afterthought of revision. While this is acceptable for a person’s everyday, personal life, it can be detrimental in a professional environment. Knowing one’s audience when speaking or writing is vital in presenting oneself as a professional. Whether speaking with a professional, such as a college professor, or a superior in the workplace, it is necessary to consider a more refined version of one’s vocabulary.

In a Forbes article written by Susan Adams, she mentions the importance of eloquence, as it suggests “that you are listening closely to the other person, and you’re serious about what you want to convey to that person.” She goes on to say “good grammar and clear sentences suggest respect.” Speaking clearly pays respect to both the superior one is speaking with as well as the person speaking.

In addition, bad grammar conveys sloppiness and takes away from the credibility of the speaker. Once a grammar error is spotted, the reader may begin to question the validity of what is being said, and it can distract from the intended message. Incorporating language with bad grammar, whether spoken or written, affects other’s impression of that person, even something as simple as misusing the proper form of “there,” “their” and “they’re.”

A candidate with misspelling, improper grammar or unclear phrasing is not attractive to a company, as a person who cannot convey ideas clearly will not positively represent them. Who would want someone who does not know the difference between “your” and “you’re?”

A solution to this problem is to get educated on proper grammar and always, always proofread. Take the time to review your emails for typos or your resume for misspellings. Speak and write intentionally, conveying both your ideas and respect. Ensuring clear language can only help in the long run and improve your overall professional presence.


Information gathered from Susan Adams’ Forbes article entitled “Why Grammar Counts At Work“. For more information visit




Written By: Hannah Rohaley


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