“Let’s eat Grandma.” vs. “Let’s eat, Grandma!”
You get the point here..
I’m definitely no expert in writing, but after working in a fast-paced marketing agency for almost two years, I certainly have my days where I wish I could rewind the clock and record my 10th grade English lesson.
Rewriting press releases so they will actually get picked up by a key pub., curating monthly social media calendars for retainer clients, and outlining blog posts every day for nearly 730 consecutive days, will have you cringing at the sight of an absent comma or misused subjunctive verb whilst scrolling through the ”gram.’
It’s astounding how often I see paragraph-long social media captions (advertisements included) and workplace emails that are swimming with innumerable grammatical errors.
Believe me, I am NO expert in this field, and probably the only one who actually takes the time to read captions anymore, but it never hurts to try a little harder to be a little better.
Below are a few quick and dirty tips from my girl, Grammar Girl.
When writing an email with an enclosed document*
Don’t say “Please find attached my resume”.
Here are some other alternatives you shouldn’t use:
- Please find attached: my resume
- Please find, attached, my resume
- Please find attached resume
Here are the best alternatives:
- I have attached my resume for your consideration
- My resume is attached for your consideration
- I have included my resume for your review
- My resume has been included for your review
The “one word, two words or hyphenated” conundrum*
To know whether your term is “open” (two words), “closed” (one word) or hyphenated, there’s a simple two-step process.
Step 1: Identify its part of speech — noun, verb, adjective.
Step 2: Check a dictionary, noting the part-of-speech designations and keeping in mind that dictionaries sometimes disagree with each other.
Verbs are usually open: “tune up.”
Nouns are often closed: “tuneup,” or hyphenated, “self-esteem.”
Some adjectives are in the dictionary, like “good-looking,” but most compound adjectives aren’t.
- Fast-paced, fastpaced, or fast paced? = correct –> fast-paced
- Ourselves vs. our selves = correct –> ourselves
- Uplift vs. up lift = correct –> uplift
- Your self vs. yourself = correct –> yourself
- self-care, selfcare, self care = correct –> self-care
*source: LA Times
This one really blew my mind.**
The form alright is a one-word spelling of the phrase all right. Alright is commonly used in written dialogue and informal writing, but all right is the only acceptable form in edited writing. Basically, it is not all right to use alright in standard English.
correct–> All right, all right, all right**
Greatful vs grateful
They’re, There, Their
They’re going to the zoo on Friday.
They’re going next week to see the kangaroo exhibit.
Note: Always think of this like “They are”. Anytime you want to say ‘they are’, use ‘they’re“.
Have you been there to see the lions?
There’s my phone!
Note: Use ‘there‘ when describing a place or the other rules don’t apply
Note: There’s literally means “there is.”
Their cat is scared of dogs.
We think it’s ours, but they say it’s theirs.
Note: Their means “belonging to them”. Use this ‘their‘ when showing ownership or possession in a sentence or phrase.
Note: Be careful not to slip up and use an apostrophe with their‘s to show ownership. This is already implied with the word ‘theirs’.
Got it? Take the quiz on GrammarBook.com to keep you sane.
It’s vs. Its
It’s raining men
Note: It’s = it is. A common mistake is to use ‘it‘s’ when describing ownership. Don’t do this!
Its name is Bruce.
Note: Its = everything else.
Daily Grammar is a site that offers daily grammar lessons for all ages.