Alright now calm down. If you’re reading this thinking this’ll be another rant by another copywriter on how not to piss her off, breathe easy.
This one isn’t about what common grammar mistakes irk me.
It’s about you. Your subscribers.
It’s about the tip you may have been hearing , reading or having shoved down your throat by a goo-roo copywriter.
Common Grammar Mistakes Don’t Grow Lists
Okay I lied.
This post is actually about something going on that pisses me off.
But it isn’t about me and my utter pissed-ivity.
When copywriters give the advice that making common grammar mistakes sparingly in your pieces makes you look human, I cringe.
No the hell it does NOT!
Period. Myth dispelled.
Fine. That’s not my style.
Understanding Common Grammar Mistakes
It’s not my style to just tell you guys to or not to do something.
Especially at the risk of pissin’ off your mentor. Yikes!
What the goo roos don’t tell you is that it’s not common grammar mistakes that help you seem human and therefore more likeable.
It’s knowing how to break certain grammatical “rules” and use them to your advantage.
Take the sentence above: Especially at the risk of pissin’ off your mentor.
Pissin’ isn’t a word. But I bet you knew exactly what I meant. It didn’t confuse you being spelled that way and you completely got the context.
Unless of course you’re unfamiliar with American slang. That’s a whole ‘notha elephant of a post, so let’s stay focused.
Having a conversational tone that makes readers actually read your entire copy or post is a gift. Not every blogger has it. Not nearly every writer has it.
So I can’t teach you how to be you.
What I can do though, is reveal a few common grammar mistakes that make you look as stupid as a flamingo on an icecap. And of course, how to keep from making them.
You Have To Know Grammatical Rules to Successfully Break Them
Of all the common grammar mistakes I can cover I’ll digress (to keep this about you and) to keep from going on an epic rant.
1. Not using contractions is a biggie.
I am going a vacation with my close friends and family, reads dry and impersonal. Technical even.
I’m going on vacation with my close friends and family, however, reads conversationally.
Oh the difference contractions make.
Not using them is a silly grammar mistake absolutely costing you in readership and/or subscribers.
2. Bullet points that don’t fit are just confusing.
Okay this one I have to chalk up to not properly outlining your blog posts in the first place.
If you’re writing a tip post, or simply offering them like I am in this post, using bullets makes stuff readable.
BUT, a lot of the time the bullets get mixed up.
If you writing a How To Do xyz post your bullet list of how to’s shouldn’t contain how not to do xyz.
For example, if your post is titled How to Create a Consistent Blogging Schedule a bullet that does not work (and is an actual grammatical mistake) would be-
- Not posting to your blog every day is killing your SEO.
It doesn’t work because it’s a Don’t Do this tip when the post promises tips you should be acting on.
Okay I’m about to borrow an explanation for this from a copyblogger post:
Often you can turn any idea into a tip by adding a verb. For example, “Remember, not posting to your blog every day is killing your SEO.”
3. Misspelling words on purpose is retarded.
I know you heard otherwise, but uhm, yea no.
Word processors have spell check. And you have a brain. Please use both.
Purposely leaving tht misspelled in a piece of writing, or leaving you when you meant your is a gross oversight.
It’s a common grammar mistake and a stupid piece of advice.
The exception: If leaving out a letter eg. comin’ instead of coming or ‘splainin instead of explaining is conversational, fun and personable go for it.
It works because it is clearly deliberate. You get the feeling that I meant to write it that way. Not that I was more concerned about speed than accuracy.
BUT you have to know correct spelling AND slang of the region you and your bulk of readership are in order to pull that off.
Just remember, you have to know the rules to successfully break them (and actually expand your readership).
It’s inevitable that a grammatical mistake will occur in your writing though. You’re only human and spell check is a technology. Both are flawed.
That doesn’t give you the right to not edit or to be obviously careless.
What are some common grammar mistakes that drive you nuts? Share with me in your comment.
Pssst! Don’t leave without taking action kay? Comment and share this with your folks. I reeeeeaaaaalllllly appreciate it!
Lata! Go forth with awesomeness!