Grammar can make or break a writer, don’t you think? For instance, the following was sent to me recently:
“ We all know as writers the easy words are the ones easiest to misuse or spell wrong.
Before you put it out there?”
As you can see I was being lectured on my grammar. Now, I take criticism constructively, however this particular person was lecturing on a blog post that was shared from an associates blog. In fact, after checking that particular person’s blog I was left speechless and a bit annoyed. It’s always nice to have comments, however without specifics on the errors that are in a post I cannot in the future or present correct them. There are several errors in the comments as well. For instance, the biggest mistake is the question mark and incomplete sentence. Now, if you are going to let me know about grammatical errors I suggest that you, the reader, tell me the particular passage, and sentence in which you found them. Also, since most comments will be posted on here you might want to check your spelling and grammar as well. The commenter went on to say:
“Please don’t think I am a witch, I have been following you for a long time . I have enjoyed all your Books as well as your Blogs. You are extremely talented.
I can’t imagine ,with a husband and small children ,how you manage to get any writing done. You must be extremely disciplined.”
Do you see the issues here? Thank you for letting me know and at once supporting the writing while “teaching” me.
Now for the rant dear readers. This type of writing, is a turn-off. That being said, let us discuss common grammatical errors and how to fix them in five easy steps.
1. Your versus you’re. This is one of the top and most common mistakes even seasoned writers make. The word ‘your’ is a possessive pronoun like ‘my’, ‘his’, ‘her’, and ‘our’. However, ‘you’re’, is a contracted portion of the words ‘you are’. So ‘your head’, ‘your tooth’ are very different from ‘you’re not really happy are you?’. Next time you make this mistake make sure that you read aloud the sentence and think about it before you continue.
2. How about “its” and “it’s“? Have you found this in your writing? Again, in this case ‘its’ is a possessive pronoun like “the cat hopped on its dish”. This is vastly differentiated from “it’s absolutely impossible.”
3. Another common misspelled and misused word includes affect versus effect. Not knowing the differences between these two words is the detrimental part, and they are costly as well. The difference between an affect and the effect are easy to understand in the beginning.
4. Never put a period outside of the quotation marks AND if you are a grammar police expert understand that great writing sometimes breaks the rules.
5. Oscar Wilde continued a sentence for two pages in Dorian Gray and did the grammar police step in?
The point is this, improve your writing everyday as best you can. The most important thing to do is read other works and inspire yourself. The person who spends their days policing others is not going to be able to write.
Achieving perfection comes at a quarter till’ never.