Hello all, it’s me, your friendly U-News copy editor. I’m a Communication Studies major with an emphasis in journalism, a minor in French, and wildly ambitious hopes for grad school.
I mainly stay behind the scenes at the paper (behind the pages?). But, today I’d like to talk about a serious problem that’s on the rise among UMKC students: poor grammar.
As a passionate word-worshipper and “grammar Nazi,” I empathize all too deeply with some professors as they shake (or scratch) their heads over a butchered sentence. Some of the lines I’ve seen from my fellow students include:
“He didn’t know weather or not to go through with it.”
Whether, not weather, it was his brain and not the rain that hadn’t yet reached a conclusion.
“I don’t feel good. My heads throbbing my joints ache my noses running and I have a huge fever.”
He feels bad…to the bone. If you’re well, you’re in good health, if you’re good you’re moral. And commas exist for so many reasons, including to give your friends a bit of space to space off while you list your woes.
“We hanged out last night.”
Hanged who, I want to know. You could’ve hanged a person, but if you were hanging out last night, you hung out.
Please, fellow students! Are we not academians? Do we not have a shared calling to a higher education? Can’t we spare an hour (and a few bucks) to read The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, or even just to log onto www.chompchomp.com and read a few grammar refreshers?
But I digress. The minute effort required to brush up on the proper placement of commas or the difference between being “good” and “well” will pay off, well, well. Almost every syllabus on the college level bears the requirements of correct grammar and spelling.
Why be that guy or gal the professor dreads getting papers from? Errors result in lower grades and frustrated professors, and ticking off teacher probably isn’t the best way to start a semester.