Three Reasons I Teach American Grammar to Grownups
Why do I teach American grammar to grownups? As my mother constantly asks, “Didn’t everyone learn it in school?”
First of all, no. We didn’t all learn it in school, although many teachers tried to teach it. But even if it was part of our curriculum, who remembers it? Really? Every detail?
Second, the last time most of us were in a grammar class was about eighth grade (at least here in the U.S.), after which we were often told by our creative writing teachers that we should just express ourselves and not worry so much about those pesky details.
And let’s be honest here. In eighth grade many of us did not pay strict attention to all our school subjects. How could we have known then that we’d grow up to care about the stuff teachers taught us? We were about 13, our hormones were raging, and we were likely much more interested in the cute boy or girl sitting next to us to listen to lessons given by anyone over 25.
Am I right?
And third, American grammar is different from “English” grammar. We have some punctuation rules, spelling, and usage differences that are just part of our system, as opposed to the more traditional English style that many other countries adopted for their own.
“England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” (George Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde)
Over the years I’ve noticed that many of us are confused about proper word usage (they’re, there, their) and punctuation. We weren’t listening back then; it’s been maybe 20, 30, or 40 years since “back then”; and we often decide how to write or speak based on “what everyone else does” or because “she’s smart so she must know.” Unfortunately, it’s possible to be absolutely brilliant in one thing but not necessarily in another, like American grammar.
Ask not “how smart is she?” Ask “how is she smart?”
Bottom line: I teach American grammar and usage to help business professionals look and sound as smart as they are. It’s that simple.
How can I help you?
As an international corporate trainer, I have worked worldwide for 20 years teaching a variety of communication skills workshops. I am also a copy editor and proofreader, mainly of business-related materials. My home base is in Massachusetts, USA, but I will travel anywhere to help business professionals look and sound as smart as they are.
Do the associates in your firm write and speak professionally and correctly? They would if they could take one of my Brush Up on Your Skills workshops. If your firm hires outside experts to help its associates, please share my website with your Human Resources or Training Manager. All my blogs can be seen there or over on LinkedIn.