GOOD

Back to School: Improve Your Grammar #30DaysofGOOD

Learn to talk more good. Er, test and improve your English grammar skills with these free resources.

30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD) is our monthly attempt to live better. This month we're going "Back to School" and committing to learn something new every day.


A recent Wall Street Journal article reports "an epidemic of grammar gaffes in the workplace." Employers blame the decline in young workers' language skills on the casual communication of email and social networking.

Such looseness with language can create bad impressions with clients, ruin marketing materials and cause communications errors, many managers say. … In a survey conducted earlier this year, about 45% of 430 employers said they were increasing employee-training programs to improve employees' grammar and other skills, according to the Society for Human Resource Management and AARP.

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Today's task: Learn to talk more good. Er, I mean, test and improve your English grammar skills. A few ideas to get you going:

If you can't imagine enjoying someone talking about grammar and punctuation, you haven't listened to Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Seriously, it's great. The weekly podcast, hosted by Mignon Fogarty, is fun, fast-paced, and filled with useful information. Fogarty has also authored a grammar guidebook and publishes tips regularly on her website.

BBC Skillswise offers a host of grammar quizzes and video tutorials covering topics ranging from word types to sentence structure. There are separate sections dedicated to helping you enhance your skills in writing, reading, and speaking.

There are also many mobile apps that test and teach grammar. The very best ones cost money (professional writers and hardcore grammar geeks should consider forking over $24.99 for the Associated Press Stylebook app), but there are also some terrific free programs out there. 1800 Grammar Quizzes is recommended for Android users, while the free version of Grammar Up is good for the iPhone.

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