It’s time to review some common grammar mistakes that damage our credibility. Not normally a fun task, but absolutely necessary.
I promise to keep you amused to diminish the pain (or at least I’ll give it a shot).
I also feel compelled to Company Email List mention that copywriting and blogging should be conversational and engaging, and breaking formal grammatical and spelling conventions can often be a good thing.
Outside of specific professional or academic contexts, colorful writing that makes it easier on the reader is more important than pleasing Strunk and White.
That said, I also believe you have to know the rules in order to break them. Plus, there are some errors that you’ll never convince anyone you did intentionally in the name of style (outside of a joke), and even then some people will still assume you’re dumb.
So, let’s take a look at some of those types of glaring errors you never want to make — common grammar mistakes that can diminish the shine and credibility of your message.
1. Loose vs. lose
This one drives a lot of people crazy, including me.
In fact, it’s so prevalent among bloggers that I once feared I was missing something, and somehow “loose” was a proper substitute for “lose” in some other English-speaking countries.
Here’s a hint: it’s not.
If your pants are too loose, you might lose your pants.
2. Me, myself, and I
One of the most common causes of grammatical pain is the choice between “me” and “I.”
Too often people use “I” when they should use “me.” Since “I” sounds stilted and proper, it must be right, right? Nope.
The easy way to get this one right is to simply remove the other person from the sentence and then do what sounds correct.
You would never say “Give I a call,” so you also wouldn’t say “Give Chris and I a call.” Don’t be afraid of me.
And whatever you do, don’t punt and say “myself” because you’re not sure whether “me” or “I” is the correct choice. “Myself” is only proper in two contexts, both of which are demonstrated below.
Many consider Chris a punk, but I myself tolerate him. Which brings me to ask myself, why?
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3. Different than vs. Different from
This one on our list of common grammar mistakes slips under the radar a lot, and I’ll bet I’ve screwed it up countless times.
It boils down to the fact that things are logically different from one another, and using the word “than” after “different” is a grammatical blunder.
This vase is different from the one I have, but I think mine is better than this one.
4. Improper use of the apostrophe
Basically, you use an apostrophe in two cases:
For contractions (don’t for do not)
To show possession (Frank’s blog means the blog belongs to Frank)
If still in doubt, leave the apostrophe out. It causes more reader confusion to insert an apostrophe where it doesn’t belong than it does to omit one.
Plus, you can always plead the typo defense if you leave an apostrophe out, but you look unavoidably dumb when you stick one where it doesn’t belong.