Sunday, December 4, 2011

Think before you speak

We all get told this throughout our lives. Usually this adage refers to the idea that if you don't think before you speak, you are more likely to say something stupid. I would add that it helps to think before you speak if you intend to write better and/or improve your English grammar skills. I find it helps to always be conscious not only of what I say, but how I say it. Part of the reason that I personally have been careful about my speech is due to having many friends that are non-native English speakers, so I feel somehow that I should provide an example of how to speak well. At the same time, being conscious of my speech has helped me to improve my writing because I, like most others, tend to write how I speak.

What got me thinking on this topic is a friend saying yesterday, "We were eating at 5am in the morning." This is one of my biggest pet peeves, although I would never lose sleep over it, but it's a common thing to say, either Xam in the morning or Ypm in the afternoon/evening. I usually ask a person who says this, "As opposed to 5am in the evening?" That generally elicits a laugh, which is really all I'm trying to produce. However, often we just mimic what we hear people saying rather than being more conscious of what we are saying. A lot of times, people say that they have poor writing skills or bad English, but really, they know the language well and how to write it, only that they're just less conscious about it. So don't be discouraged if this sounds like you!

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