Happy Grammar Day! Top 10 Grammar Tips for Content Creators
Yes, campers, March 4 is National Grammar Day, established in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG) and author of Things That Make Us [Sic] (extra geek points to everyone who gets the pun in that title).
If you’ve hung around this blog or our podcast for a while, you’ll know that I’m big on getting grammar right. And I’m not the only one. Good grammar does make a difference, and what seem to many to be “nitpicky” details really can make or break you as a thought leader … which is what we content marketers are after, right?
So here’s my gift to you on this day: 10 tips to keep your content on the high road.Enjoy!
- An apostrophe (‘) is used for one of two purposes: (a) to show possession (“Sophie’s delicious rawhide bone”) or (b) in a contraction (a grammatical mashup of a noun and a verb, as in “that’s” in place of “that is”). That’s it. No sneaking them into plurals (“try our delicious cake’s”).
- Not all spelling mistakes will be picked up by your spell-checker. Proofread, proofread, proofread!
- Avoid comma splices (“I looked for John, he wasn’t there”). If you need to join two independent clauses (clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence), insert “and” or a semicolon (;). A comma won’t cut it here.
- “Their,” “they’re,” and “there” are not interchangeable. Get ’em straight.
- Ditto for “your” and “you’re.”
- Ditto again for “its” and “it’s.”
- And again for “peek,” “peak,” and “pique.”
- “Affect” is a verb; “effect” is (in most cases) a noun.
- Something is “different from” (not “different than”) something else.
- “[person’s name] and I” or “[person’s name] and me?” It depends on the phrase’s role in the sentence.
o Use “… and I” if it’s the subject (“Adam and I are going to the
o Use “… and me” if it’s a direct object or object of a preposition (“Please email that to Robert and me”).
OK, folks, your turn: what are your top tips for becoming a grammar ninja? Share them with us in the Comments!
About the Author
A self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).
As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations. Contact Rachel about speaking to your group or business.
See you again next week!
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