Blog Quality Check: Your Grammar Must Be Spotless

Steven6 responsesBlogging
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I’ve always been one of those people who thinks faster than they can talk, I think most people are like that.

The mind processes information at amazing speeds.

And I’m also certain that most people think faster than they can type.

With your mind moving at warp speed and your fingers trailing along at a snail’s pace, it’s inevitable that you’re going to make mistakes.

But it’s important to correct as many of those mistakes as possible for three reasons:

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  1. You lose credibility if your post is loaded with spelling and grammar errors
  2. You look like you don’t care, and if you don’t, why should your readers?
  3. All those mistakes are distracting for your readers. Especially if they have to make a conscious effort to figure out what you’re trying to say.

Like I said, mistakes are an inevitable part of blogging.

But here are some steps you can take minimize the problem:

  • Use spell check – This will catch a lot of spelling errors but it’s by no means foolproof.
  • Use a dictionary – If you’re not sure how to spell something, look it up. Even spell check makes mistakes. Bookmark a dictionary and use it.
  • Use a thesaurus – If you’re not sure it’s the right word, use a thesaurus and find one that works. Bookmark a thesaurus today, too.
  • Bookmark writing tips sites – Grammar rules can be tricky. Spend some time this week bookmarking some good writing tips sites and start studying.
  • Read more – A lot of grammar rules are based on common sense and you just pick them up through osmosis. Of course, you have to pick them up somewhere, which means if you read more you’ll learn more.
  • Take your time – Take your time while you’re writing, take time to re-read before you publish, take time to look up definitions, spellings and rules. In short – put more time and effort into producing a quality, well-written post. It’s worth it.

And now, how about some homework?

Leave a comment and share your most frustrating word or grammar rule.

Having trouble with commas?

Don’t know when to use there’s or theirs, your or you’re, or to, too, or two?

Let’s talk about it in the comments.

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  1. Lisa

    No matter how many times I proof I always find something when I publish on my Droid. I don’t share til I read it on the cell now. I also used a free checker online. We are human, there will be errors at times.

  2. Tim

    Regarding your bullet point for Use Spell Check: I think you mean foolproof and not full-proof!!!

    Otherwise, I think your comment that errors distract readers is right-on.

    My current pet-peeve is when writers split up words that should not be split (e.g., some thing vs. something).

    1. There is actually discussion about full-proof making sense as well. But I guess this kind of post is just a call for people to try to correct everything they can ;)

  3. Tim

    That is an interesting response. As a native English speaker, I have never heard of full-proof as an alternative. It may well be that this is a new usage that I’m unaware of or it is now considered jargon amongst writers/editors. Can you give a citation?

    1. An a non-native English speaker, I am not saying that full-proof is an accepted alternative. I’m just saying that there is discussion about it making sense. :)

  4. Tim

    Yes, you’re right! There is some discussion about full-proof vs. foolproof. Thank-you for pointing that out.

    English is such a plastic language in that it both borrows words from other languages and creates new word formations from existing words… that is both its beauty and its curse!

    So, I would add to your list of tips: don’t rely on spell check (because it is context unaware and, for example, can’t tell when it’s your vs. you’re).

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