Does good writing matter? And what about reading?

Patty Limerick asks Colorado employers in today’s Denver Post if good writing matters. I certainly hope so, not just as a writer and editor, but as a reader who wishes more good editors were gainfully employed cleaning up the bad stuff.

If you respond to Ms. Limerick as she asks at the end of her column, please cc me if you don’t mind. I’d like to know the answer, too.

When you’re done with that, read John Young’s piece about Colorado’s new approach to standards for language arts and math. He provokes some thought about what sort of reading is important.

Coincidentally, both of the columns linked above are well written.


2 thoughts on “Does good writing matter? And what about reading?

  1. Anne, thanks for sharing your perspective. Poor writing does make me question the quality of the products or services a company provides. Great advice on taking a break before editing your own work. I’ve seen plenty of dumb mistakes in my own work a day or so after I thought I was done.


  2. The answer to your question depends on the type of job a person is looking for. But I think kids today would surprised at the wide range of jobs which require good writing skills. When I interviewed for my current position as a Civil Engineer, who works to design and repair buildings, the only exam I was given was a Spelling Test, and I had to submit writing samples.

    What value is my knowledge, thought, or opinion if I can’t communicate well? I must be able to form clear, consise, written and verbal communications. Our firm gets work after other consultants fail to achieve this. Although spelling errors may not cause a person to misinterpret our meaning, they cause our audience to question our competency. Spell checker is not sufficient alone as an editing process. I must take a break from long reports for at least a day and then edit them, before sending to my boss for review.

    Not every job requires good writing skills, but how many of these kids will actually become celebrities? If that’s what they are hoping for, good luck to them. And congratulations to everyone else who puts effort into improving their writing skills.


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