Thursday, September 13, 2012

Grammar Rants

Kyle Wiens won't hire people who use "poor grammar."  He is one of the powerful people Lindblom & Dunn describe, who speak for the powerful segment of society which hires and fires.  Wiens' grammar rant takes the form of a Harvard Business Journal blog, and can be found here:

He argues for an extreme, zero-tolerance approach to "poor grammar" when faced with hiring computer programmers for his company.  This CEO gives all prospective employees a grammar test, and the smallest of grammatical errors seemingly deems an applicant unworthy of programming (or even stocking shelves).    He blogs:

On the face of it, my zero tolerance approach to grammar errors might seem a little unfair. After all, grammar has nothing to do with job performance, or creativity, or intelligence, right?

Wrong. If it takes someone more than 20 years to notice how to properly use     "it's," then that's not a learning curve I'm comfortable with. So, even in this hyper-competitive market, I will pass on a great programmer who cannot write.

 Grammar signifies more than just a person's ability to remember high school  English. I've found that people who make fewer mistakes on a grammar test also make fewer mistakes when they are doing something completely unrelated to writing — like stocking shelves or labeling parts.


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