Why Do I Teach American Grammar?

Why do I teach American grammar to grownups? To business professionals? As my mother constantly asked, “Didn’t everyone learn it in school?” Well, first of all, no. We didn’t all learn it in school, and there are several reasons for that. Yes, the teachers tried, but there’s a huge difference between being taught and actually learning.

Second, the last time most of were exposed to grammar was about eighth grade, after which we were often told by our creative writing teachers that we should just express ourselves and not worry about those pesky punctuation details.

And in eighth grade most of us were 13 or 14, our hormones were raging; we were likely much more interested in the cute boy or girl next to us to listen to any lessons given by anyone over 25. How could we have known then that we’d grow up to care about the stuff teachers taught us, especially things like grammar? We couldn’t have known, and it’s been maybe 20, 30, or 40 years since “back then” anyway. Who remembers exactly what we were taught?

Your nose just twitched …

Third, we often decide how to write or speak based on what someone else does.

The problem with doing that? Most of us are smart, but we’re not always smart in the same way. Following the HR VP’s way of using semicolons, for instance, might not work because she’s smart as a whip with people and HR issues, but not so smart about American punctuation rules.

Am I right?

And fourth, American grammar is different from other variations of English grammar. We have some punctuation rules (especially those concerning the use of quotation marks) and some spelling (humor or humour, realize or realise) and usage differences that are just part of our way of speaking or writing.

As we are more and more a global community, we often see articles written in a different version, and if we’re not sure about our own system, we can get confused about what we’re supposed to do here.

So the burning question: Why do I teach American grammar rules?

I teach American grammar and usage rules, so writers will look and sound as smart as they are. It’s that simple.

How can I help you?


Susan Rooks
Susan Rooks
With nearly 30 years’ experience as an international workshop leader, Susan Rooks is uniquely positioned to help people master the communication skills they need to succeed. In 1995, Susan formed Grammar Goddess Communication, creating and leading workshops in three main areas – American grammar, business writing, and interpersonal skills – to help business pros enhance their communication skills. She also leads one-hour LinkedIn workshops (Master the LinkedIn Profile Basics) via Zoom to help business pros anywhere maximize their LinkedIn experience, offering it to Chambers of Commerce and other civic organizations free of charge. As an editor, Susan has worked on business blogs, award-winning children’s books, best-selling business books, website content, and even corporate annual reports (with clients from half a dozen countries), ensuring that all material is professionally presented. In April 2022, Susan became the Managing Editor of the Florida Specifier, a bi-monthly trade publication covering Florida’s diverse environmental industry. And although the focus is on Florida’s issues, many of these same challenges are found elsewhere around the world, so the readership isn’t limited to just Floridians or those interested in that state. But in all these endeavors, Susan’s only goal is to help everyone look and sound as smart as they are.

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    • Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment, Larry! I’d love to know how the article helped you!

    • I think being on Bizcatalyst360 I have a lot of friends from different countries and different writing styles. As long as I’ve been with this group I am obviously influence sometimes by a style that isn’t truly my style. I have to remember that I am in truth a southern writer And the story is uniquely mine. So I think sometimes it’s cool to let someone influence the story as long as you write it in your style from your journey.

    • I always work hard to preserve my clients’ voice in their articles, Larry; that’s a really important aspect of being an editor of any type. And I do have a couple of international clients whose English is definitely different from the American version, as would be expected. The things I check most for are obvious misuse of words and any punctuation that will confuse a reader.

      It’s great that you know you’re a southern writer; that should always be a part of any story you write.

    • Thank you my wife would love what you do she’s my editor when I do stories. I truly did go on the road playing music at 16 so there are some challenges for me to be a writer. Thank you again for your article