Congratulations! You’ve launched a blog! No doubt you have lots of insightful and witty things to say.
Before penning your first post, you probably spent some time researching the blog writing process. By now, you are familiar with what is considered “interesting” content. You know how to write what readers want to see. You even know a few blogging blunders to avoid.
If you are here, you are interested in expanding your blogging education. And you have taken the research process one step further than most bloggers are willing to go. Grammar, unfortunately, is often overlooked. This is quite tragic; not only will grammar errors make you look ignorant, but your readers are likely to miss your point entirely.
Take a few moments to brush up on the English language.
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Incorrect Word Choice
English is a challenging language. Even those of us who have been speaking it since birth struggle at times. Here are a few common word choice errors that tend to creep up.
Who vs. Whom
Use “whom” if you can answer the question with “him” or “her.”
- Who is writing the poem? He is.
- Whom are you going to the movies with? I’m going with him.
Loose vs. Lose
It is very important to understand the difference between “loose” and “lose.”
- If you are too loose with your writing standards, you will lose your loyal readers.
Affect vs. Effect
Affect is a verb. Effect is most often used as a noun.
- Your poor grammar skills might affect your blog’s traffic.
- The effect of decreased blog traffic could be decreased income.
Me vs. I
Remove the other person from the sentence. Which pronoun sounds better?
- Mary and I are going to the store. I am going to the store.
- Will you come with Sara and me? Will you come with me?
Fewer vs. Less
If you can count it, use fewer. If you can’t, use less.
- Michael has written fewer articles since getting hired at the marketing firm.
- Now that he is earning more money, he has less incentive to write articles.
Could of, Would of, Should of
When we speak, it often sounds like we say “could of.” For example, I could of earned more money with this blog if I had worked harder. However, the correct phrase is actually “could have” or the contraction “could’ve.” I could’ve made more money with this blog if I had tried harder.
Lack of Capitalization
A lot of blog owners don’t properly capitalize their post titles. Most use sentence capitalization (only capitalizing the first word). However, this is wrong.
The first and last word of a title should always be capitalized – regardless of the part of speech. Capitalize other words in the title too, including short verbs like Is, Are, and Be. Prepositions and other short words are the exception to the rule. For example, you don’t need to capitalize and, a, an, the, but, as, if, or and nor.
Check out the acceptable ways to represent numbers in blog posts.
- When using single digit numbers, write the word. For example, one, two and three are acceptable; 1, 2, and 3 are not.
- When using double digit numbers, feel free to use the numerals – 14 is acceptable.
- There are two exceptions to the rule. Be consistent when you have numbers in two different categories. For example, you can write one and fourteen or 1 and 14. Also, if a number appears at the beginning of the sentence, it must be written out. 600 is not acceptable. Six hundred is.
- Simple fractions should be spelled out. Also, make sure you use hyphens. For example, one-fourth is preferable to ¼.
- Always use numerals for decimals. There is no need to write out three and four tenths – 3.4 will suffice.
- Percentages – like 95% – should use numerals.
- When writing the year, you have some options. Writing the eighties, the ‘80s, and 1980s are all acceptable.
- Use words to express time if it ends with o’clock and is sans A.M. or P.M. Otherwise, use numerals. For example, nine o’clock in the morning is preferable to 9:00. However, 9:01 A.M. is the correct way to express this time of morning.
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Do you know of any major grammar blunders we left off the list? Share them with us so we can all be better educated! Please don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS-feed or follow Inspirationfeed on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook! If you enjoyed the following article we humbly ask you to help us spread the word!