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Look Smart: Don't Make These Dumb Writing Mistakes

Look Smart: Don't Make These Dumb Grammar Mistakes presented by SHORTSTACK Even in this era of quick communication, good writing matters. On Facebook and Twitter, and especially on blogs, misspelled words and mis- placed punctuation can make you look unprofessional - or worse. Here's a look at some of the most common grammar and spelling mistakes, and a few tricks that will help you remember which words to use when. Affect ys. Effect Affect is a verb. It means "to influence" or "to change." Example: The effect of social media's influence has been to affect the way Effect is a noun". It means "a result." brands communicate Memory trick: You can almost always place “the" before effect. with customers. * There are rare instances when this is not the case. Alot vs. A lot ys. Allot E Alot is not a word. Ever. Example: A lot of businesses allot a portion of their marketing budgets to social media. A lot means "a large number." Allot means "to parcel out." Assure ys. Ensure ys. Insure } Assure means “to promise." Example: I assure you that our new social media marketing manager Ensure means "“to guarantee" or "make certain." Insure is used when referring to insurance. did ensure that she will insure the million-dollar diamond necklace we're offering as a Facebook contest prize. Different from vs. Different than 9 SHORTSTACK The word "different" is used to drawCK distinction. In general, if a noun follows "different" use from. FYI: Than is often used with words like “easier" and “better" which are Example: Facebook is different from Twitter. comparative adjectives, and are used to compare Example: The Twitter experience is different than I thought it would be. two things (e.g., easier than, better than, rather than, faster than, etc.). 3 Further vs. Farther Further is used to indicate figurative distance. Farther is used to indicate physical distance. Example: If you complain further about Google+, I will move my desk farther away. Memory trick: The word meaning physical distance has the word "“far" in it. I vs. Me I, a subjective pronoun, is used when the pronoun is the subject of a verb. FYI: There is no such word Example: Sara and I are attending Social Media Marketing World this as "I's." It is never correct to say "Sara and I's favorite social media event is just a month away." Instead, you would say "Sara's and my favorite social media event year. Me, an objective pronoun, is used when the pronoun is the object of a verb. Example: Can you attend Social Media Marketing World with Sara is just a month away." and me? i.e. vs. e.g. i.e. is an abbreviation of the Latin Example: Social media networks, e.g., Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have made it possible for customers to communicate directly with brands, i.e., allowing them to critique and compliment in a public forum. phrase id est meaning "that is."Use i.e. to help explain what you said, but in a different way. e.g. is an abbreviation of a Latin phrase exempli gratia meaning "for example." Memory trick: The words "in essence" can stand in for i.e. It's ys. Its E It's is a contraction of "it is" or "it has." Example: It's a common practice for a business to host a contest on its It's is not a possessive. Ever. Its is the possessive form of "it." Always. Facebook Page. TSTACK Less vs. Fewer Less is used to indicate uncountable amounts and Example: I need to spend less time on Pinterest and pin fewer than 50 pins a day. volumes. Fewer is used to indicate countable, individual things. Lose vs. Loose Lose has multiple meanings, among them: to fail to win, to misplace, be too late for, waste, become absorbed in, become worse off, become flustered. TACK Example: She tends to lose her patience when she can't fit her Tweets into 140 Memory trick: Say the words out loud. If the word ends characters. with a "Z" sound it's lose. If it has the "S" Loose also has multiple meanings, among them: unfastened, not tightened, inaccurate, immoral, not close-sitting. sound, it's loose. Example: The rules about what to post on our company Facebook Page are pretty loose. 3 That ys. Which E SHORTSTACK Which is used to introduce a That is used to introduce a non-restrictive clause. You can restrictive clause: You can't get remove the clause containing “which" and it won't change the meaning of the sentence. Non-restrictive clauses rid of the word “that" without changing the meaning of the sentence. The "that" part of the sentence is not surrounded by have a comma before and after them (or only before the clause if it comes at the end of the sentence). commas. Example: People who drive cars that are designed for racing get more speeding tickets than people who drive hybrids. Example: Lamborghinis, which are fast, often elicit envy. That vs. Who That refers to objects or groups'. Who refers to people'. Example: Blogs that focus on Facebook marketing strategy are plentiful. Example: Page admins who want to increase fan involvement should create Status Updates that include calls to action. * This is a general rule. SHORTSTACK There is ys. Tbere are E There is (or there's) is used when writing (or speaking) about one thing. There are is used when writing (or speaking) about multiples. FYI: The same rule applies to Here is vs. Here are. Example: There are two good reasons to consider setting up a Facebook Page: it's free and there is a good chance your customers are already there. There vs. Their Vs. Thep're E Their is a possessive pronoun. There is an adverb meaning place and is also an introductory subject. Example: Their Instagram has a million Likes. They're is a contraction of "they Example: There are many people who work in our office but who are." Example: They're going to the Instagram meetup this weekend. weren't there today. E SHORTSTACK Wbo ys. Whom & Who refers to the subject of a clause. Whom refers to the object of a clause. Example: Who has a better Memory trick: Him/her equals whom. ORTSTAC YouTube channel – Jimmy Test your sentence with the word "him" or “her." If him/her makes sense, use whom. Q: Who/Whom do you love? A: I love him/her. The proper way to ask that question would be “Whom do you love." Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel? They're both funny, but whom do you prefer? Your ys. You're Your is the second person possessive adjective and is used to describe something as belonging to you. Example: You're going to wish that your company had used an app to collect email addresses from the You're is the contraction of "you are." 1000 people who entered Memory trick: If you can replace the "you're" with you are, "you're" is the only option. your contest. For more great resources, visit PRESENTED BY E SHORTSTACK *Hat tip to Grammar Girl ( for inspiring this post and for explaining the concept of "Hartman's Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation."

Look Smart: Don't Make These Dumb Writing Mistakes

shared by PancakeLabs on Mar 22
Grammatical errors and misspellings can make you look clueless or careless. And we know you’re not either one! So download this handy PDF, or print it and keep it near your desk, so you don’t make...




Lea Heckley


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