By Scott Sedam, Contributing Editor | Professional Builder
My mother was an English teacher. She was very good at it and quite demanding. So much so that when writers use poor syntax, passive voice, or end a sentence with a preposition, I’m known to groan out loud. Who cares? My mother made me care. It was a birthright.
Thus, I know the title of this column uses bad grammar. I use it here as I employed it some years back at a national gathering of home building CFOs: to get your attention. This was a high-powered group with MBAs from big-name schools. You know you have too many financiers in a room when they work the term “basis points” into every other sentence in a discussion. They’ll tell you using “basis points” is far easier than saying hundredths of a percent, but I think it mostly makes minuscule numbers sound important.
My bad-grammar opener—albeit high-risk—worked for that meeting. Telling accountants and financiers they don’t count well is like telling chefs they can’t cook.