Hello & welcome to today's Grammar Lesson. I am Jenny, but you may call me Ms. Grammar Nazi. I am here to give you 5 tips regard to great (& proper) writing for your blog. Take notes. There will be a test (Well, not really, but take notes anyway :D)!
- Do not try to write above your actual capabilities.
It's fabulous if you know how to use words like ominous, flabbergasted, bellicose, pugnacious, or antidisestablishmentarianism. But if you're just throwing around big words without really knowing what they mean, you will sound less serious than you're trying to be. Stick with words you know. No one is going to fault you for writing with simple English but there are definitely those of us out there who will notice that you're not making sense. The same goes for complicated sentence structure (like trying to stitch up those dangling participles but doing it wrong).
- Remember the rule of thumb where "so-and-so and I" & "so-and-so and me" are concerned.
I think a lot of people see it as more sophisticated to always say "so-and-so and I" but it's not always correct. The rule of thumb is if you can remove "so-and-so" and the sentence still sounds correct, that's the way to go.
Example: "Mary & I went to the ball game." Remove Mary and "I went to the ball game" still sounds right. But if you have "The book was given to Mary and I" and you remove Mary you get "The book was given to I." Doesn't sound right, does it? "The book was given to Mary and ME." It's not unsophisticated. It's correct.
PS: It's NEVER "me and so-and-so." NEVER.
- Quotation marks.
First, when using them in a sentence, you use double quotes with the punctuation at the end INSIDE the ending double quotes. "I did something new today." "What hamburger?" Second, when quoting inside a quote you use a single quote NOT a double inside a double.
Correct: "I thought I heard him say, 'What was that?'"
Incorrect: "She told me that Roger said "I am wrong.""
- Would of, could of, should of.
NO, SHOULD NOT HAVE. The proper usage is would've, could've, should've. It's a conjunction of would+have. The definition of "of" is "Expressing the relationship between a part and a whole: 'the sleeve of his coat.'" "Would" is not a part or a whole , it's a verb, so there is no proper reason to use the word "of" next to it when what you want to say is you would have done something. I know it SOUNDS like "would of" but it just isn't.
- No net/text speak.
EVER. Using the letter "u" instead of the word "you" is just not acceptible. The same with "2" instead of "to" "two" or "too." And "4" instead of "for" and so on, and so forth. Abbreviations are fine in text messages but not on your blog or as part of your social media presence.