4.1 - Grammar Is A Baseline - Own Your Distortion

Folks like to talk about grammar in terms of “correctness.” We all have people in our lives who serve as our grammar police. We often forget to invite them to our parties.

The point of grammar is to provide clarity to language. It homogenizes language so you can communicate with people who aren’t familiar with you. The way you text your friend isn’t how you email your boss. In the absence of familiarity, grammar reigns supreme. This is how we keep the world from falling apart. 

Grammar is our ability to understand language objectively. It is how we know what words can be nouns and what verbs do, and the function of a comma in a sentence.

Grammar is like computer code. If the code isn’t written in a specific way, the software fails. On the other hand, if you write the code well enough, clever enough, you can get a machine to do some incredible stuff. Hackers use clever code to sneak into databases and make off with billions of bitcoins. To get their billions, hackers need to have an inside-out understanding of how code works. 

Grammar is the code; language is the program. If you want others to follow your program, you need to fall well within the rules of language.

Grammar is the baseline between those who are just starting out and those who have been at it for years. There is no grand-slam without fundamentals. Every guitar soloist began their journey learning the same handful of chords.

Just as the fundamentals bring about mastery, grammar is the key to building an exceptional writing style. Get in tune with the baseline everyone else is on, and then you can invite them to go somewhere else with you.