Grammar and spelling is probably the top of anyone’s list in this department, but ironically, because grammar and spelling are the most common errors–they are also the most commonly searched for error. This article deals with the errors that blog posters commit and often miss.
The Silly Similar Word
Most people use some form of writing software to create their blog posts. The mostly commonly used writing software is one created by Microsoft, which will underline any spelling mistakes with a red line. The spelling and grammar checker however, is not able to pick up on words that have been mistyped but that are still correctly spelt. These are often the shorter words that break down to form connecting words – words such as “form” that turns in to “for” or “hand” that turns into “and”.
This one works on a similar principal to the paragraph above. The list of potential typos is massive, especially since some words have letters with suitable replacements besides them. O and P are close together, meaning that “oat” may easily become “pat” and “path” becomes “oath”.
The problem with many typos and similar words is that they look so similar, that they are very hard to recognize. They are often only spotted by a fresh pair of eyes–by people who are reading it for the first time.
The Stupid Sentence Fragment
Sometimes a sentence fragment is picked up by the grammar checker, but otherwise they are often missed because they fit into the flow of the piece so well. A sentence should have a subject and a predicate; a sentence fragment does not have both.
You will notice that your spellchecker allows the word “internet” even though it is wrong. The “Internet” is a name–just like a Land Rover or Dallas. Therefore it should always have a capital letter. The worse ones are fancy made-up names such as eBay, iPhone and YouTube. They are easy to miss because they are not part of the British-Queens-American English that you are taught at school.
The Damnable Quote
Quotes and speech grammar differs from usual grammatical rules. At the beginning of each quote, you should put a capital letter, “Like that”, even if you are quoting a person from the middle of their sentence. Furthermore, you should put all sentence ending punctuation within the quote, such as, “never again.”
It looks better like this, “never again”. However, that is incorrect and a commonly missed mistake.
Many people switch from first, to second, to third person at the drop of a hat, and if you have a chunk of text that is more than four hundred words, it is very difficult to keep track of.
Most people will miss this mistake; we often miss them–as do I.
There was an example of doing all three in one sentence. Granted–that is easy to spot but if the first paragraph has references to the writer and the rest is in third person, you may find it difficult to spot.
An opinion is something that is expressed by the writer, or relayed via the writer. Here are some examples:
- I found the movie Prometheus to be drawn out and poorly paced. – That is the writer’s opinion
- The Muslim community leaders were angry at [insert comment here] and found it to be in poor taste. – That is an opinion relayed via the writer.
Opinions are fine and are very welcome on any blog, but expressing an opinion as a fact is an error. Removing the ethical side of voicing an opinion as a fact, you should remember that no matter how much reason is given to an opinion–it is only conjecture and not fact. Therefore any opinion that is stated as fact is inherently incorrect. Here are some examples:
- Mexicans are mostly lazy
- Prometheus was a great film, and nobody will fall asleep half way through
- Summers in Texas are better than those in California
Whether you agree or disagree with the comments above, they are inherently wrong, not because they may/may not be true, because they are opinions. They should be written like this:
- Fox News directors feel that Mexicans are mostly lazy.
- Larry the cable guy thinks that Prometheus was a great film, and that nobody will fall asleep half way through.
- I think summers in Texas are better than those in California.
Thank you for reading.
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