Language

Take the Grammartarian Grammar Test at WSJ

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Pete at right.

Employers say young people have fewer grammar skills than did their olde-tyme ancestors, according to the Wall Street Journal's Sue Shellenbarger. The hardest hit include Fort Lauderdale flack Don Silver

"I cringe every time I hear" people misuse "is" for "are," Mr. Silver says. The company's chief operations officer, Mr. Silver also hammers interns to stop peppering sentences with "like." For years, he imposed a 25-cent fine on new hires for each offense. "I am losing the battle," he says.

Managers are fighting an epidemic of grammar gaffes in the workplace. Many of them attribute slipping skills to the informality of email, texting and Twitter where slang and shortcuts are common. Such looseness with language can create bad impressions with clients, ruin marketing materials and cause communications errors, many managers say.

There's no easy fix.

You can also take a 22-question grammar quiz. (No guarantee on that link.) I got 20 right, barely an A. 

I'm not persuaded that Bryan A. Garner, a grammar entrepreneur quoted at length, knows about which he talks. Shellenbarger cites Garner's condemnation of "I could care less" without mentioning the controversy over that phrase's possible origin as a crop of "I could care less but it would take an effort."