Read a book, you’ll learn something!

. I’m still reeling over what Christine said about some people being proud they don’t read. And the more I think about it, the more people I remember I have met like that (I’ve deleted them from my memory until now…).

It seems to me that most of these ‘too-busy’to-read’ people are professionals – doctors, lawyers, teachers – people who should really know how to spell, and some basic grammar.

I mean, dear non-reader, forget the magical world you can find in books. Forget the utter pleasure of escaping into another world. Don’t worry about the life lessons you could learn (and more a than a few business leaders would do well to read Christmas Carol). Maybe you should read books to teach you how to use your own language.

I read letters from all kinds of professionals. I read one from a teacher the other day that spelt decisions ‘deccissions’. Three times. I have read lawyer’s letters and doctor’s letters with atrocious grammar, and even worse spelling. Some ‘professional’ people cannot seem to tell the difference between ‘advice’ and ‘advise’, ‘effect’ and ‘affect’ and ‘there’ and ‘their’. Though I am by no means a grammar expert, I know the difference between a semi-colon and a full stop, and when they should be used – it’s amazing how many people do not.

They also seem incapable of writing a coherent sentence. They cannot put forward a well-reasoned, well-proven argument. And what’s more, their letters are full of jargon.

So I would urge them to pick up a book. It will teach them the correct words to use in the correct situation. It will show them how to write clearly, and to the point. They will learn how to use language elegantly. And best of all, they will learn how to use their own language correctly. And that will be a relief to us all.

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2 responses to “Read a book, you’ll learn something!

  1. Gracious. This post reminded me – unfortunately – of a former work colleague, who introduced himself to me with a spate of boasting on a range of topics. The most unfortunate of these was the incredible claim to have gained a degree in Literature without ever having read a book. ‘I blagged my way through it with published revision notes’. Was I really supposed to admire this? Surely that degree of fatuousness should be impossible.

    Reading will certainly teach the reader how to use English. It will also help to fill a vacant mind with a few thoughts and ideas. Maybe if more people read, we might be spared the company of people such as the above.

  2. Michelle, you are my hero, girl! You are right; many of these people are professionals, with an attitude. It does make you wonder how they got to be professionals though.

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