Uppercase or Lowercase? Learn the Case!
The definition of capitalization is fairly simple. It’s the practice of making certain letters uppercase, or capitalized, when needed. Knowing when to use proper capitalization isn’t as simple, especially for non-native English writers.
When it comes to capitalization, it’s important to use the correct case because it lends to your credibility as a writer. If an article contains excessive capitalized words in unnecessary situations, it will send a message of inexperience to the reader. If a brand or proper name isn’t capitalized, it could send a message of disregard for the lack of attention to detail. Bottom line, it’s essential to use the correct case!
If you’re unsure of when to use capitalization in your writing, review the rules and examples below to give you a better idea.
The Informal Writing Bug
In a world where we’re accustomed to 140-character Tweets, simple text messages, spontaneous emails, and casual blog posts, we’re familiar with informal grammar. It’s not uncommon to shorten a message by omitting certain parts of speech. This style of writing certainly has its place, but it doesn’t belong in your content writing!
In order to establish your credibility as an Expert Author, it’s important to maintain proper grammar and sentence structure. In other words, avoid using “weak wording” in your writing.
What is Weak Wording?
Weak wording is written like this:
“Going to store to get dinner. Will be back in 15 minutes. Please have table set.”
In this example, the subjects and articles are omitted from the sentence. The proper version reads:
“I’m going to the store to get dinner. I’ll be back in 15 minutes. Please have the table set.”
Let’s cover what’s missing.
Heed These 5 Grammar Tips to Avoid Looking Pompous or Ignorant
Grammar is a touchy subject, especially for those who write professionally. After a lot of finger pointing and excuses, you’re either a member of the grammar police or an “I write in the language of my audience – grammar errors and all” rebel.
You don’t have to take sides. Think of grammar like this:
Language, with all of its idiosyncrasies from dialect to dialect, is the vehicle of your message.
You can get into the vehicle, but grammar is what drives your message to your intended destination.
When you come across an article about grammar, such as this post, don’t look at it as an accusation you’re failing at writing if you do or have done these 5 things. Look at it as an opportunity to get into the vehicle and deliver your message to your audience.
Let’s get started!
Share Your Answer to This Question and More in the Comments!
“[Copy] editors know that the catch with machines checking spelling is that if it’s a legitimate word, the machine smiles, oblivious to whether it’s the right word in context. ‘Lemon aide’? Well sure. ‘Lemon’ and ‘aide’ are both real words. But can one enjoy a cool glass of ‘lemon aide’ in the garden?” — Gypsy da Silva
While there are some who take delight in editing and proofreading, for many it’s an arduous task.
Editing includes …
First there’s proofreading by checking:
That’s not too bad, right?
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Around the world, Saint Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated, whether by feasts, parades, great displays of the color green, and much more merriment.
However, there’s one screaming error that prevails year after year …
It’s “Paddy” not “Patty!”
Whenever I see “Happy St. Patty’s Day,” I imagine that the day is March 18th (the day AFTER Saint Paddy’s) and I picture a diner waitress named Patty. Why would this proud waitress have a day named after her? For all of those hungover St. Paddy’s Day celebrators who are so wrecked that they, in awe of this merciful waitress named Patty, say “please” when she asks, “more coffee?”
On the website Paddy Not Patty, Marcus Campbell explains the source of the double “d” in “Paddy” comes from the “Pádraig,” which is an Irish male name deriving from the Latin “Patricius” or the English “Patrick.” Alternately, Campbell continues, “Patty” comes from “Patricia” or is a diminutive form of the “hamburger patty.”
Why not have the best of all of these words? Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day on March 17th, Patty’s Day on March 18th (don’t forget to thank your waiters and waitresses!), and then wait a few months for May 28th to roll around when you can celebrate National Hamburger Day.
No matter how great your command of the English language is, it will slip your notice at some point if it hasn’t already … the dreaded typo.
A typo or typographical error is a mistake made in the typing process of text. This may include speling and grammar errors, typing the same same word, or misplacing pesky apostrophe’s.
Did you notice my intentional errors in the previous sentence? Good for you! It’s my tongue-in-cheek stab at humor to propose this:
Let’s all take a break from grammar shaming and be compassionate toward those poor folks who accidentally leave a typo and even absolve those who are typo-prone.
“Don’t write something in 1,000 words that could have been said in 600.” – Robin Henry
Have you ever had a friend or relative who seemed to ramble on and on, so much so that you found your mind wandering toward more interesting things like, “Should I make that dentist appointment for next Tuesday or Wednesday?” Or “Is it true if you eat a polar bear’s liver, you will die of a vitamin overdose?”
Don’t be that person … in your articles that is!
So much emphasis is placed on proofreading that many Expert Authors forget a step: Revising. The result may fashion lackluster, boring, rambling, and occasionally confusing articles.
The solution? Guarantee yourself a more powerful message by keeping your articles short and sweet with these tips.
Happy Birthday, Noah Webster!
In 1828, at the age of 70, Noah Webster published An American Dictionary of the English Language. He hoped to help children in overcrowded schools better articulate themselves and standardize American speech. Born on October 16, 1758, Webster is now known as the Father of the American Dictionary. 255 years later, Webster’s birthday is celebrated by thousands on “Dictionary Day.”*
It’s with great pleasure that we dedicate this edition of the Top Misused Words to Webster and to all who are passionate about language.
If something doesn’t sit well with you, will you be able to set aside your feelings?
If your brother turned into a frog, should you turn him in to your parents? Does the principal establish the principle of the thing? And frankly, is every supermarket Express Line wrong?
We’re back again with the next 5 most commonly misused words in the English language and we’re tackling some tough phrases that can be incredibly confusing. Without further delay, here they are!
Fewer vs. Less
fewer – Used with count nouns (nouns that can be pluralized when needed), fewer is a quantifier indicating “a smaller number of.”
Incorrect: Yellow Express Lane: 10 Items or Less
Correct: Yellow Express Lane: 10 Items or Fewer
Why Punctuation Matters
Next to common grammatical errors, like spelling mistakes (alot vs. a lot) and misused words (loose weight vs. lose weight), punctuation is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be.
Punctuation makes a huge impact! Take for instance this popular example of the power of punctuation:
An English professor wrote the following words on the chalkboard and asked the students to punctuate it correctly:
“A woman without her man is nothing”
All of the males in the class wrote:
“A woman, without her man, is nothing.”
All of the females in the class wrote:
“A woman: without her, man is nothing.”
Punctuation is powerful.
You can harness this power to attract new readers and keep your current readers engaged with the free Top Punctuation Howlers PDF guide.
Unlike other style guides that imprison your writing or as one author put it, cause you to “type on eggs,” Top Punctuation Howlers is easy to understand with its plethora of examples and open-writing style recommendations.
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