Ursula: Does grammar still matter? Not according to UW

Sep 29, 2023, 7:00 AM | Updated: 8:13 am


The University of Washington 'W' sign on Memorial Way (Photo courtesy of University of Washington)

(Photo courtesy of University of Washington)

Does proper grammar still matter in today’s digital age? In my opinion, yes! Whether it’s a misspelled word or run-on sentences, it drives me batty when I see a social media post or blog and it’s clear someone didn’t bother to check their grammar.

In this age of texting, so many people have given up on punctuation and capitalization. I’ve actually had a young person (one of my sons) laugh at me because I still use commas and capital letters in my text messages. But I’m not ready to give up on proper grammar! I believe it does matter and should still be emphasized in our schools.

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But not everyone seems to agree. Jake Harper, a 19-year-old University of Washington (UW) student, joined The Gee and Ursula Show Thursday to discuss what he found when he created a website that can help students get into some of UW’s most competitive academic majors. You can listen to the full interview here:

“As we all know, the stress of applying into your major is all too familiar,” Harper wrote on his website. “I can remember so many times where I wished I could teleport into the decision room and grab their grading rubric to see for myself what they were really looking for. So, that’s exactly what I asked for. To my surprise, they actually gave me all of the closed-capacity rubrics. With that, I decided to make this website to share them with you.”

Harper found that UW’s informatics department doesn’t grade on grammar in students’ applications. That stood out to me because I think it’s something that should be considered in any application or admissions process. If I’m in charge of hiring for a company and you give me a resume that is riddled with spelling and punctuation errors, you probably won’t be hired.

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There’s a difference between “there” versus ” their” versus “they’re.” Knowing when to use “your” versus “you’re” shows that you pay attention to details. Those types of mistakes hurt your credibility and people are going to make judgments on your competence.

Do you agree? Does grammar still matter?

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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