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Grammar key to good communication skills

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

With Autocorrect on our cell phones and Spellcheck on our computers, one would think it is nearly impossible to make a grammatical mistake. Think again.

“Our world has so evolved technologically to allow us to do everything so much more faster. Computers, email and smartphones have all contributed to our need for brevity and speed.

With the current generation growing up with this ever-changing technology and grammar not being taught extensively as it was so many years ago, this generation could have a hard time transitioning into the business world with limited training in writing skills,” said Sydnee Bagovich, Crafton resident and self-professed “Grammar Nerd.”

She points to the fact that many people in a hiring role whom she has interviewed are appalled that jobseekers would write cover letters in text, as if writing to their buddies. Those letters go right into the trash and the resume is not even reviewed.

Sydnee began her love of the English language grammar rules during her early school years' lessons on diagramming sentences an art that is practically extinct in today's language arts curriculum. She grew up to receive her bachelor's degree from Robert Morris University and her MBA from the University of Pittsburgh's Katz Graduate School of Business. A few years ago, she began proofreading for a website and then created a Facebook page and started writing for online publications, such as www.Bizchicks.org.

She realized from hearing and reading so many examples of bad grammar that bad grammar is everywhere and is not limited to any one industry, organization or education level.

She then started making presentations at libraries and corporations to help people avoid “everyday grammar blunders.”

Sydnee has a running list of grammatical errors she has found in emails, heard on the phone or saw in printed materials. The back of a company truck stated “no job to large or to small you're service specialist.” An email from someone read “Please bare with me.” Such everyday errors can result in a lack of confidence in communication, poor performance reviews, and negative perspectives in professional and personal situations.

By using humor, her interactive seminars are full of tips and tricks to eliminate common grammatical errors.

She is presenting to a philanthropic educational organization in Mt. Lebanon on Monday and at the Peters Township Library on March 9. Some other activities are under development for March 4 — National Grammar Day.

For more information, visit www.thegrammarnerd.com, or call Sydnee at 412-848-2053.

Charlotte Smith is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media and can be reached at 724-693-9441 or charlotte59@comcast.net.

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