Before you fetch the pitchforks and light the torches for another round of “find the grammatical error,” let’s discuss the nature of language.
Language is an evolving thing and has room for incredible words like “kerfuffle” and silly phrases like “nom nom.” Words are constantly being added, but what about trendy, colloquial English? Should you use it? You know … those informal sayings? For example:
Informal: If you wanna take your kid on a ride in the beater and tell him stories as old as the hills over a pop, then knock your socks off!
Formal: If you would like to take your child on a ride in the old, damaged vehicle and tell him extremely old stories over a carbonated soft drink, then do so if it brings you great pleasure.
Yes! Use informal language because it often engages your reader on more personal level than formal language can achieve. Here are three recommendations when it comes to using informal English:
Make sure your audience understands what you’re attempting to communicate.
Use informal language with moderation, lest you appear too informal.
Always use good grammar.
No matter what the latest trend is, good grammar can help you achieve your goals and maintain (even increase) your credibility. Steer clear of these 5 grammatically incorrect phrases to better communicate with your readers as well as distinguish yourself as a credible expert! (Continue Reading…)
If he formerly stepped down, does that mean he never stepped down, or he stepped down in the past and now he has resumed his position as CEO?
Even the most adept Expert Authors will make grammar mistakes because of distractions. However, there is also another phenomenon that occurs – too much focus! Such strenuous focus on one area may be causing your brain to filter out incoming information, which may be causing some errors to hide in plain sight.
What’s the remedy? Give your brain one task at a time to focus by writing in stages:
Outline (Everything you need to say)
Draft (Flesh out the outline)
Edit (Add/Remove content)
Proofread (Search for grammar errors)
What should you be looking for? Aside from misspelled words, run-on sentences, and the usual suspects, keep an eye out for these commonly misused words. (Continue Reading…)
What do a comma splice, a period outside a quotation mark, and an over abundance of exclamation points have in common? They are all lame ducks.
Many experienced authors and newbie authors share the same fear: losing face with readers because of one (seemingly innocuous) punctuation error.
The mistake has the potential to pull down the entire article as well as the credibility of the author. Hence, the article becomes ineffective or unsuccessful – a lame duck.
There’s a solution! Why panic when you can strengthen your writing habits by identifying any lame ducks before you submit your article? Steer clear of these poor punctuation habits.
Lame Duck: Excessive use of exclamation points.
Often a result of attempting to create exciting and energized content, authors will use exclamation points with reckless abandon. The result: Content that’s on the verge of hysterics!!!! Use an exclamation point or mark for exclamations, commands, or sound effects and review your piece for wayward exclamation points. (Continue Reading…)
Bear these tips in mind to avoid the bear baring his teeth. Don’t know which bear? It’s the one bearing the bared tray.
Much of language is learned through hearing and practice – through conversation. We rely on context to give meaning, but what happens when we’re led astray by what we hear?
Misused words and poor grammar.
No problem – we’ve got the remedy! Discover the true meaning and maintain a keen eye on your articles for this batch of misused words:
e.g. vs. i.e.
e.g. – Latin abbreviation for “exempli gratia,” which means “for example.” Use this abbreviation when providing a list of examples that are not a part of a finite series.
Incorrect: Greg is a huge fan of cyborgs, i.e., the Terminator, Inspector Gadget, and RoboCop.
Correct: Greg is a huge fan of cyborgs, e.g., the Terminator, Inspector Gadget, and RoboCop. (Continue Reading…)
Avoid Frustration and Confusion: Maintain Quality to Maintain Credibility
You might think you’re saving time by skipping the proofreading step, but let’s get that notion out of the way:
Bad writing habits, like poor grammar, are annoying.
Your readers and competition scoff at poor grammar because even if they’ve made the mistake, they love to point out other people’s mistakes. Publishers hate it because they can’t publish articles with poor grammar. And finally, you hate it because it’s a punch in the face to your credibility and it’s a complete waste of your time.
Don’t believe us? Check out why you shouldn’t let quality take a back seat in your articles in this quick video.
From time-to-time we all need a little reminder about one grammatical rule or another. Even for many native-English speakers, the usage of the indefinite article “a” or “an” is confusing. We can only imagine what it must be like for non-native English speakers. Let’s settle this mind-boggling English rule!
What Are Articles?
Articles are words that accompany a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun. In the English language, there are three types of articles: definite, indefinite, and partitive.
Definite: The word the indicates that its noun is a particular noun or is an identifiable noun to the listener or reader.
Indefinite: The words a and an are used before a singular noun that has a plural form.
Partitive: Often used to indicate a mass noun, the word some is the English equivalent to a partitive article (e.g., “Would you like some coffee?”).
Between Twitter and Facebook alone, there are over 800 million users tweeting, sharing, posting, reposting, and more. For Expert Authors, this exchange of information makes article writing and social networking a perfect match. Watch this video and discover strategies and tips to harness The Power of Social Networking!
Avoid the fluff in your next quality, original article and reach the minimum word count the right way. Watch this video to discover how you can reach the minimum word count the right way to increase your credibility and build your readership. (Continue Reading…)
Grab your dictionaries and proofreading checklists – we’re putting a new spin on our old Top Spelling Blunders series to bring you a holiday spelling errors edition!
For those who missed out on the series last Spring, these pesky errors are the most commonly misspelled words in the English language. In order to help you maintain your credibility and build confidence in your writing skills we collected the most common spelling mistakes to share with you and this post features those blunders associated with the holiday season.