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  1. Whatever You Thought, Think Again by Jo Freehand
  2. Cookie Monster
  3. Thank You: Whatever You Thought, Think Again: Why We Say Grace: Whatever You Thought, Think Again

Great stuff! All of us can use a refresher course like this once in a while. As a freelance editor, I can vouch for these. Number 3 was my favorite. I have a question about the contractions though.

Years ago when I was in school our English teacher taught us that contractions should never be used in serious writing. That habit is still with me as I write my first book. My editor is telling me that using them is too personable for a book, but quite OK for blogs and newsletters. What do you think? That sounds like an unreasonably rigid rule to me. That could be just what your readers want. Writing without contractions can sound very formal and stilted. I agree with Sue.

I agree with all of the points except for over vs. Insisting on this is nothing but an exercise in pedanticalness. Since you seem ot be a fan of Grammar Girl,. Interesting — Thanks for sharing that link! I agree with all of your items, except one. I would suggest weighing the meaning of any sentence, however, when determining the best word choice when it comes to these two basic synonyms. This was a great and helpful post, thanks! Another pet peeve I have about people writing lists or bullet points is a lack of parallelism.

If you have a list, they should all be the same parts of speech whenever possible or show a similar structure. Great post, since English is not my first language there are some little things I tend to forget or possibly never knew about to begin with. Nice tips. But I think the title is not fully descriptive of the content.

A lot of the items are not necessarily a fault in grammar but of style and usage, I would say. A matter of making your article pleasurable to read or a pain in the neck. I think those do actually introduce confusion, rather than just being differences of style. Hi Alex! Excellent post and I agree with on the point to use simple and short sentences, this will create a great authority with in you readers because they can easily understand your words and message and than they could react as apropriate.

Like some of the other commentators, I work in a multi-lingual environment with English as the source language, and I think most of these tips can be transferred to other languages as well. The cleaner the source, the better the target copy, I think. I already do all this stuff! Good advice. My pet peeves include some of yours, as well as the overuse of exclamation points. A crutch for lazy writers.

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Whatever You Thought, Think Again by Jo Freehand

Could we remove that key from all computers? In the words for F. Scott Fitzgerald. Have you ever read the comments on Facebook, YouTube, etc.? Most adults can barely spell let alone have proper grammar. No, dangling participles are worse than ever. I like these and agree with them, although in my books and classes I do tell people to avoid contractions in formal writing.

Great advice. Seriously great post.


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Good on you, Copyblogger. Carry that torch. I have never heard it used appropriately. Thanks also for writing about this. Just some of those little nuances that can make a big difference. Dave, I was born in the UK my father was a journalist and we traveled a lot. However, nearly all British readers and writers are quite amenable to contractions and abbreviations of all kinds they call: cigarettes, cigs; university, uni; football, the footie; etc. In more conversational situations, only the stuffed shirts of the old guard academia would prefer icy phrasing to the warmth of familiar words.

Thanks for the clarification. This will definitely help me to improve my writing skills. I have a question for the author, Alexis. First of all, I really enjoyed reading your article and thought that you included some great points. These writing tips will surely add value to my own blogging experience. My only concern is point 5 regarding the use of contractions. My personal experience reflects that for contexts like academia, professional discourse and technical subjects, contractions are not appropriate.

For blogging, if I am trying to communicate credibility and expertise, I would use my contractions very sparingly in order to keep it formal. I feel better now. Number one on your list is my 1 pet peeve. I see that one all the time and I cringe. This is very useful, thank you! And O have to invest additional time to ensure my blog post is free of grammar mistakes. I love this post!

Am always interested in writing better, more effectively. Thanks for the reminder. These words are not interchangeable! As in, there were less people there than last time. Only a couple of the things you mention are actual grammatical errors. The rest may constitute unimaginative copywriting but are perfectly acceptable in British and American English. They eventually changed it presumably by re-writing it with the correct punctuation and getting another actor to read the script to say …enjoy life-like sound. I always get a kick out of reading these types of articles.

Second, I learn a thing or two. I am in no way a professional writer, but I have my pet peeves. One of my pet peeves is so commonly seen that I gave up hope. You did not mention it, but you correctly used it throughout the article. Am I wrong? It is meaningless. It can refer to 1, or 25, or 1,,, or any other random number. I am a bit of a grammatical nerd when it comes to posts and bad grammar will usually make me click on to the next post pretty quickly.

I agree. Since the only part of the sentence that describes which house it is is the last half, I think it should be treated as restrictive. Also, if the sentence was meant to refer to a single house, off by itself, then I guess the non-restrictive clause could work. I agree with Kim and Claire. The clause is definitely restrictive. The clause tells which house. Otherwise, well done! Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to primary sidebar. Grammatical glitches make your writing harder to read, and they turn readers off.

And by brilliant, I mean clean. Using that when you should use who Whenever you write about people, refer to them using who , not that. Including the word currently in your bio The word currently is virtually always redundant. Just get rid of it. There are lots of better, more interesting ways to start sentences. See how easy it is to make this mistake? Adding a comma after that When used as a descriptor, the word which takes a comma.

Cookie Monster

Using over rather than more than Over people did not like your Facebook page — More than people did. Forgetting to hyphenate modifiers Whenever you modify a noun with more than one word, you need a hyphen. Get Grammarly. Previous article: 12 Lessons Learned from 12 Years of Writing.


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  8. Reader Comments Thanks, Alexis, for reminding us that better grammar helps to make our content more likely to be shared, by virtue of making it more easily readable. Thanks for reminding us about these things. Thank you. DD Phila P. All Copyblogger posts get a careful edit before they are published.

    Including this one. That is awesome! Good afternoon, Alexis. Kind regards, L. Great post, Alexis! Thanks for the tips. Great tips! What are your thoughts on avoiding contractions for a rather active non-English reader base? Good advice but some of these points relate not so much to grammar as to style. I see this one all the time, and it grates on me as well. Ed, this one gets me, too. Evelyn, you completely missed my point. My appologies… Now I see what you mean. Thanks again for the article. Great reminders! And a few rules learned. Is there a yearly convention for grammar geeks? Personally, I find it more readable.

    And so much so that I started formatting my posts the same way. I trust this is helpful. Thanks, I always appreciate the little reminders about our craft. Make sure you have fun. Regards Leon. Thanks for chiming in with that. Great post and really helpful.

    Maybe your editor needs to loosen up a bit? Ha — I like the way you describe it! Good point. Grammar goofs get my attention, every time. All good points — but only a minority are grammar. The others are style. Very lazy use of language. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke. Thank you nearly added one there, but have resisted the temptation…… Sue. So, is it ok to use dangling participles now?

    Is that an old school concept? OTOH, I personally like contracting also. Conversational English and all that. Alexis, I would love to hear your thoughts on my comment. I have a feeling that someone, somewhere, has decided this is acceptable. I trust this clarifies my previous supportive post. Thanks for the grammar mistakes reminder. I was dreaming, is it possible for me to not repeat the grammatical errors in my writing? Valuable information, thank you! Great post for grammarians as well! I chose to publish a book of literary poetry, prose and short stories: a book the industry claims is hard to sell, especially from an unknown.

    They have yet to realize you only have to be known by yourself and the Spirit of Truth to be effective. It really is who you know once you know. I am fortunate in so many ways. This road of publishing despite the assistance of industry experts, family and friends still has been more than a notion, which is what it will always take to achieve consistent motion.

    Thank You: Whatever You Thought, Think Again: Why We Say Grace: Whatever You Thought, Think Again

    Flexibility and patience have become my mentors since very little has gone as expected except the need to make a dozen daily decisions and the unfolding of this phase. The degree to which we align ourselves with our purposes is the degree to which we will transcend and be transformed. The tuning of thoughts, actions and spirit builds a rhythm to flow by and this renaissance of self, to our original state, not only exudes an attracting energy but also an affecting energy of contagiousness greater than any plague because when passion and promise meet potential it becomes exponential.

    Asante Sana. Technorati Tags: Eloquence: Rhythm and Renaissance , literary poetry , prose and short stories , publishing , Spirit of Truth. Copyright Ancestors through Usekhu. All Rights Reserved. Email This BlogThis! Labels: Eloquence: Rhythm and Renaissance , know thy self , know yourself , knowledge of self , literary poetry , notions , prose and short stories , publishing , Spirit of Truth , unknown. Kate Thornton September 26, at PM. Newer Post Older Post Home.