Bryan Garner, from “The fallacy of intelligibility,” a short piece about the idea that it doesn’t matter how you write it as long as they understand what you mean:
Nonstandard, ungrammatical language irks educated readers. It distracts them and makes them less likely, even unwilling, to align themselves with you. Wrong words are like wrong notes in music: they spoil the tune. And wrong words make readers stop thinking about your message and start pondering your educational deficits.Who would tell you otherwise? Well, there is the familiar construction, beloved of some teachers of writing, “This is not a grammar class.” But teaching writing without attention to grammar is like teaching painting without attention to color and form, or like teaching music without attention to playing or singing in tune. Things come out wrong.
If anyone tells you otherwise (that is, if someone says it don’t make no never-mind), don’t believe it.
What Bryan Garner says about writing is plainly true. Teachers who encourage their students to think otherwise are cheating them.
All OCA Garner-centric posts (Pinboard)