Better Grammar for Business WritingWriting for a small business audience? Whether you are a freelance writer, business blogger, or penning content for pay, one blunder you cannot afford is that of being constantly incorrect. We all know your articles and blog posts should be well-written, look good, and easy to scan. Just as importantly, they should be reasonably free of common grammatical errors.
15 Minutes of Fame, Your Name on The Marquee
Between dealing with dangling participles and literally dying of shame is a whole world of grammatical mistakes that plague writers from all walks of life.
Unless they’re writing a book and have an assigned copy editor, writers don’t get to suffer in silence because their names are splashed across blogs, guest posts, and comments on other people’s writings. Even worse, when producing paid content for small business owners or online journals, their fame spreads exponentially, perhaps even making a bad first impression on their next would-be client. With your name in lights — so to speak — wouldn’t you agree it’s best to be … correct?
It’s A Doggone Shame!
In a guest post he wrote for BasicBlogTips, 5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People, Mitch Mitchell names “grammar” as his number 2 pet peeve (with spelling following right on its heels).
Where did you learn to write like that? Most of the time people don’t ask that question because they like the way you write, and that’s a shame. Everyone isn’t perfect; I get that. However, I see more people that write worse than they talk, and that’s a shame. I like to think I’m one of the few people I know who writes much better than I speak; that’s a shame as well but at least in writing I’m not bad. — Mitch Mitchell
You might say it’s easy for so many to talk about not making grammatical mistakes, but where is the help you need to do a better job? Below is a visually appealing infographic created by CopyBlogger: 15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly. But before you see it in all its glory, let me just say this: If your grammar sucks, it might not be your fault!
Right-Brain Inspiration, Left-Brain Content Production
No, really! It may have more to do with your learning style and/or right-brain vs. left-brain dominance. That sounds kind of highfalutin’ but the explanations are a bit simpler than it sounds. Although I have a pretty good grasp on grammar, when it comes to math, a calculator is my best friend. I’m told that’s a direct function of left-brain/right-brain activity.
According to experts in the fields of education,
The brain is composed of two hemispheres, known as the left and right hemisphere. While each hemisphere has unique functions, which one side performs and the other does not, both hemispheres possess the ability to analyze sensory data, perform memory functions, learn new information, form thoughts, and make decisions. — Art Institute of Vancouver
Well, what this means is that adult writers who have a difficult time with grammar might need to consider why they’re having such difficulties and take a new approach to overcoming those hurdles. Thinking about learning styles and left/right brain dominance aren’t necessarily on your daily To Do list, yet they might be worth a look.
The Principal Paradox
Overwhelmingly, many writers are right-brain learners and thinkers (creative) which gets in the way of the necessary left-brain (analytical) skills required for learning and retaining grammar rules. (This is NOT always true!)
The Writing Eight exercise (as described in the Brain Integration Therapy Manual) transfers the process of writing from the left (thinking) hemisphere, to the right (automatic) hemisphere, making the writing process much easier. . . . The “Winston Grammar Kit” is a good right brain grammar program . . . — Dianne Craft, Private Education Consultant
Craft apparently works mostly with children but my point here is that there is a whole field of experts devoted to applying the principles of left/right brain activity to learning grammar. This is the place where some empathetic soul will say, “You are not alone!” Jokes aside, if you are a writer who has tried traditional methods of “learning grammar,” now you have some further food for thought.
And now, CopyBlogger’s cool infographic to give you a headstart.
15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly (Infographic)
Add Your Thoughts
- What are your favorite grammatical mistakes to make (I mean overcome)?
- Got any tips for those of us struggling with grammar?
one’sones tick you off the most when you see them in an article you’re reading?
- Extra Credit: How many words from the infographic were used in this article?
Share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you’re so inclined, here’s the link to the Vancouver Art Institute’s Right Brain vs Left Brain Creativity Test. Thanks for reading!
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