My confession: I am a reformed horrible speller and still struggle with grammar and syntax. I have improved a great deal, but I am still very conscious of those liabilities. I have worked hard over the years to overcome those shortcomings. At one point I was even hired as an adjunct to teach several semesters of English Composition to Associate Degree students.
Occasionally I would ask my students what their education goals were. It always gave me a great deal of distress to hear the ones who were in their thirties to mid-fifties who believed that they could succeed in gaining entrance to a law school when they were unable to construct a simple sentence. It came up repeatedly. More than my distress with them, I was angry at the school staff who had encouraged them to believe that and the school systems that had failed them as children.
Now I am faced with a related problem and would like your suggestions. I have not been asked for advice. The situation is complicated because the aspirant to the lofty profession is no longer a child, nor has been for many years. Good manners suggest that the proper response is to keep my mouth firmly shut. But I ache for my friend who seems totally unaware of that pathway ahead. What would you do if someone you cared about dreams of a lofty professional career yet possesses none of the skills required to get there?
I could very well be one of those people of whom you speak, however, we, as far as I know, are not related, nor are we friends. I am terrified, often, to post or respond to newspaper articles or blogs.
Three years ago, I took an online course at a Junior College so that I could at least update my writing.
Personally, if you were my friend, I would be thrilled if you emailed me to tell me that you thought my” goal was super!”. And then, I would hope you would encourage me to take a writing course to “better” my skills.
In other words, tell your friend it’s a great idea, and then encourage him or her to take a course or sign up for grammaly.com.
What a nice friend you are!
If this is a good friend… DO NOT keep your mouth shut.
What a thoughtful response! Grammarly is a wonderful help which not only catches mistakes but also explains why they are wrong and what works instead. I tried in one case to do just what you suggested, in the nicest possible way, and was met with immediate dismissal. So, perhaps I am a skittish about the issue. You give me renewed hope. Thanks for writing!
I hope all goes well for you and your friends and “readers”. In the long run, what does it matter? If he/she were true to you and you’re true to he/she it will balance in the end. 😀