Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Grammar for Bloggers

Being that we have all become writers now, whether it's through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc., I feel it's imperative that we all remember what our elementary school teachers taught us about grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Social media has become the newest way to network with those we would have previously joined organizations to meet, but, even if you had a stellar resume, would you show up to a networking event just wearing old jeans and a t-shirt? Neither would I. It doesn't give off the professionalism that most of us would like people to see and your great resume would be overshadowed by a pair of ratty jeans. It's the same with writing. Why write an outstanding entry with errors in it? It undermines your knowledge and ability.

Below I've listed five of the most common mistakes I have seen (I could go on for 100 more mistakes, but I'll keep it short). Take a look at these errors and put your best foot (and image!) forward when writing:

  1. There, Their, They're - "there" refers to a place, "their" refers to ownership, "they're" is a conjunction of "they" and "are". Example, "Their house is over there next to the burger bar. They're planning on going there for dinner."

  2. Bullet points - keep bullet points parallel to each other. If you put a period at the end of one bullet point, put one at the end of all of them.

  3. Spell check - use it!

  4. Its, It's - "it's" is a conjunction for "it is," "its" is used whenever "it is" should not be in a sentence. Example, "It's not that hard." "The company hired its interns."

  5. You're for your - "you're" is a conjunction for "you" and "are." "Your" is possesive.

And lastly, I leave you with this tidbit - Always, always, always review your work! I have come across numerous blogs by top executives that have minor typos in them such as an extra letter in a sentence or at the end of a word, or even different font sizes and types. It does not make them look like the expert they are supposed to be!

For a future reference, when you're not sure the correct grammar or punctuation, use If you're not aware of how badly your grammar, spelling and punctuation are, take this quiz.

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