editing / writers resources

Despite Spell-check, Check Your Spelling (and Grammar)

Are you in a writer’s group like I am, with constant debate over the importance of grammar and spelling prior to going to the editor? Thanks to Brian at Copyblogger, I win that debate. Read on?

Do You Make These 7 Mistakes
When You Write?

by Brian Clark

Do you make these mistakes when you write?

It’s time once again to review those nasty errors that damage our credibility when we write. 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).

As with the last time we explored grammatical errors, I feel compelled to mention that copywriting and blogging should be conversational and engaging, and breaking formal grammatical and spelling conventions can often be a good thing. Every time I see a comment complaining about something like, oh, I don’t know… the improper use of an ellipsis or one-sentence paragraphs, I shake my head with sadness.

They just don’t get it.

Outside of specific professional or academic contexts, writing with a personal style 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 that 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 more of those types of glaring errors that you never want to make. Thanks to reader suggestions and the aforementioned Messrs. Strunk and White, here are seven more common mistakes that can diminish the shine and credibility of your writing.

More on Brian Clark’s post

Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman.  She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersIMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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6 thoughts on “Despite Spell-check, Check Your Spelling (and Grammar)

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  2. Pingback: Writers Tip #98: 18 Tips on Grammar from William Safire | WordDreams...

  3. I always use number 6 and do so correctly, but I wasn’t aware that they are abbreviations for Latin words. Found this quite interesting. By the way, I have recently discovered your blog and it has been of tremendous help! Thanks for sharing your wonderful knowledge and keen observations. 🙂


  4. This is WordDreams day..stay with me. I LOVE this blog about grammar-right on and much needed. Grammar is the bare bones of writing, why not make it right? What I’d like to see is the proper use of punctuation, e.g. colon vs. semi-colon and the hyphen vs. …I DO love this stuff.


    • No matter what people say, grammar or lack there of creates a perception of brains/no brains. People can’t help judging based on punctuation and spelling. Since it’s not that hard to get the basics right, it pays off to do just that.

      Thanks for the comment!


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