Take Note: Good Writing Still Matters
According to We Are Social’s 2014 Global Digital Statistics, 2.5 billion people are online, and 1.8 billion are on social networks.
In June 2012, more than 423 billion texts were sent that month, as noted by Statistic Brain. Multiple hours are spent daily typing on desktop and mobile devices, through email, texting and social media.
BTW, I’m lost in translation
When people often text and type in shorthand, such as “BRB” (be right back) and “LOL” (laughing out loud), is it any wonder that proper grammar gets lost in translation?
Some suggest polished writing isn’t necessary anymore. It’s more about getting your point across. But as Amy Hourigan says in her blog, “Do you think your boss will take you seriously if you email, ‘I want 2 c u to talk about a promotion?’”
She writes about 75% of hiring managers said a grammar or spelling error on a job application is worse than showing up late to an interview. And Andrew Clarke says in an Entrepreneur article, when investors see a business plan “with spelling, punctuation and grammar errors, they immediately wonder what else is wrong with the business.”
Make grammar your thing
Whether you are penning a long-form article or blog, use correct grammar to let others know you aren’t ignorant of the rules … or just ignorant.
- Lay vs. Lie: Lay is a transitive verb that requires a subject and one or more objects. Lie is an intransitive verb that needs no object.
Example: Lay – I lay the pencil on the table. Yesterday I laid the pencil on the table. Lie – The Andes Mountains lie between Chile and Argentina. The man lay waiting for an ambulance.
Note: The most common mistake occurs when the writer uses the past tense of the word lay (I laid on the bed) when he/she actually means the past tense of lie (I lay on the bed).
- Further vs. Farther: Further is used to indicate figurative distance. Farther is used to indicate physical distance.
Example: If you complain further about Google+, I will move my desk farther away.
- I vs. Me: I is used when the pronoun is the subject of a verb. Me is used when the pronoun is the object of a verb.
Example: Sara and I are attending Social Media Marketing World this year. Can you attend Social Media Marketing World with Sara and me?
Note: It is never correct to say “Sara and I’s favorite social media event.” Instead, you would say “Sara’s and my.”
- I.e. vs. e.g.: i.e. is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase meaning “that is.” Use i.e. to help explain what you said but in a different way. E.g. is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase meaning “for example.”
Example: Social media networks, e.g. Facebook and Twitter, have made it possible for customers to communicate directly with brands, i.e. allowing them to critique and compliment in a public forum.
- Whether vs. If: Many people assume “whether” is interchangeable with “if.” It isn’t. Whether expresses a condition where there are two or more alternatives. If expresses a condition with no alternatives.
Example: I don’t know whether I’ll see a movie tonight. I’ll see a movie tonight if I have money for a ticket.
Right the wrongs, IMHO
We all make grammar and punctuation errors. But don’t let these errors be a reflection of you or your business’s professionalism, creativity and attention to detail … or lack thereof.
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