Good writing seems to have fallen offer in recent times, at least if what we see on social media is any indication. Perhaps members view those platforms as places where they can let conventions slide. Unfortunately, in these connected times, social media platforms are becoming mainstream. What is written (and displayed) on those websites says a lot about the person, and can be used to judge them.
As one who writes and speaks regularly, I am quite partial to the proper use of the English language. But this isn’t about me. It’s about you.
My intention with this blog series is to point out some of the basic errors I see. Perhaps you make some of these errors. If so, you will learn how to correct them. The result is cleaner copy and a more professional image.
This is the second in my series of posts on writing tips. (You can view the first post here.) In each I use examples of poor writing that I have seen or received. Most of these were on Facebook, but others came to me in emails. Each has errors in one or more areas:
– Grammar, word usage
In each example I offer suggested rewrites. These will help you improve your copy.
“I’ve found that when i ‘make myself’ interested in something i’m not ‘naturally’ interested in, and i get people talking and opening up….sometimes it becomes ALL they want to talk about…..and at the time it may be cool…..but then when i see them later, when i’m not quite in the mood to ‘make myself interested’ in that particular topic and its all they want to talk about, it kinda alienates me and bores me and drains my energy. Im not trying to sound like a jerk, its just some topics do that, you know?”
Capitalization and punctuation, primarily. Because the person is expressing an opinion, we can cut him some latitude. But this can still be cleaned up. You’ll note he doesn’t capitalize the pronoun I. That’s a common mistake in online writing. Remember: that word is always capitalized. The paragraph is quite long, and should be broken up.
“I’ve found that when I make myself interested in something I’m not naturally interested in, I get people talking and opening up. Sometimes it becomes ALL they want to talk about. At the time that may be cool.
But then when I see them later–when I’m not quite in the mood to make myself interested in that particular topic and it’s all they want to talk about–it kind of alienates me; it bores me and drains my energy. I’m not trying to sound like a jerk; it’s just that some topics do that to me.”
“Hi, I want to welcome you to my Home Based Business. We are a Health & Wellness Industry. Belove you will find the Over view of our company. If your interested please contact me or at the end of the video join. Or join for 30 days free and give it a test drive.”
Capitalization and spelling. This one also has the “your” problem. Specifically, the person misspells you’re so it becomes your. This is a very common mistake today. Watch for that in your writing. Remember: Your is a pronoun. (“This is your book.”) You’re is the contraction for you are. (“You’re going to like your book.”) Understand?
You’ll notice this person is pitching his business opportunity. Would you buy from someone who writes like this? Now do you see why it’s important to write and speak well? Note, also, that I don’t try to further explain or identify his business. That’s another downfall of this piece of copy.
“Hi. I want to welcome you to my home-based business. We are in the health and wellness industry. Below you will find the overview of our company. If you’re interested, please contact me [at ….]. You will also find my contact information at the end of the video. Join for 30 days free and give it a test drive.”
Watch for my next installment in this writing tip series. (Read the first post in this series here.) Meantime, to further your writing skills, see “How to use ‘they’ and ‘their’ correctly” and “Insure” vs Ensure”.
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