Common English blogging blunders - and how to avoid them
Introduction – why this training?
I've recently been writing Site Comments and spotted a few errors on some sites, such as words which sound the same but are spelled differently (technically called homophones). It's not so much that they twist the meaning of the message (although that can happen) but they jar which pulls the reader out of their involvement with the post.
I'd also venture to suggest that it can take the edge off the perceived authority of the site, even if subconsciously.
The expert view
We are programmed to expect professionals and experts to communicate in a professional manner. If your doctor said: "Take them there tablets when what it says and good luck to you," your opinion of their expertise as a medical practitioner might take a slight hit.
Even if you are writing on hobby topics, you still want to be regarded as an authority.
I know that for many members here, English is not their first language and I'm guessing that not everyone majored in English at College – I certainly didn't! – so this is presented simply in the hope that it might help one or two people who may be confused about the correct way to use certain words, and to give their writing a more professional appearance and their blog a touch more authority.
Communication is key
The purpose of language is to communicate and the purpose of your blog is to communicate your message, so the more accurate your language, the better it will do its job.
The occasional spelling mistake or grammar error is not highly significant. However, if you want to present a professional appearance your language should be as accurate as possible.
By 'accurate' I don't mean written like an essay or a thesis. I mean clear, easy to read and understand, and unambiguous.
Keep your style
You don't have to change your writing style.
I have a colloquial style. I start sentences – even paragraphs! - with prepositions and conjunctions. I use dashes, exclamation marks and smileys all over the place. By any stretch of the imagination, it's nor 'formal' writing. My aim is to write so my message is clear, and I try to do it in an informal and entertaining way.
Whether I succeed here, I'll leave you to decide 😂
If you're still with me, that was a massive instruction to only a handful of common errors I want to talk about.
Let's get started.