From Adam: “The mobiles and internet have made every possible shortcut to type in with as little strokes as possible
Very difficult to diagnose why the apostrophes do not render as intended
Good post, Brian, but I think the main point could be emphasised a little more. The tone should be conversational, informal, and friendly, as you said. (Hope the comma Nazis don’t get me for that sentence).
What I do is read what I’m writing. Yes, this is something we all do, right, but how many people actually read it to themselves? Try reading it out loud (if no one’s in earshot), pausing at the commas, using the words you have written.
Apostrophe misuse makes me cringe, but even worse is incorrect versions of your and you’re; and there, they’re, and their.
I agree with your point on parallelism, but not your example. That’s because the verb ‘bought’ could easily be used for the second item as well as the first – in which case it’s fine to leave it out of the paragraph list
When I received the article in a gmail message, the subject matter looked promising until I read the first line of the article which offered a catastrophic butchered display of the apostrophe which read “It’s time”
What a shame that the spirit of the article itself felt hollow to me when the rest of the text suffered from similar periodic spasms of unintended corrupted character display.
Paul, grammar and spelling are within my control, but how words render on every computer on the planet is not (even though we try).
I have tested emails in Gmail and several other email programs, plus every major feed reader and everything looks great. Sorry it’s not working out for you.
This is a great post! I defininitely fall into those slackers who mis-use i.e. and e.g. Never again after tagging this!
And, what about clarifying my biggest pet peeve…”can not”. But I was recently told that “cannot” and “can not” are both okay; it just depends on the context. Can this possibly be true?
The lose/loose gaff, in particular, has me waving fist at screen at least twice every hour… But here (blessings on your Copyblogging head!) you’ve thoughtfully stepped up with today’s fine grammar rant… leaving me free to go on about the business of saving the world from unimaginative decor. Many thanks, Brian!
The problem sometimes is with people who are native English speakers. In my case, I think I can good enough use the grammar but, still have a lot to work. Yes, the problem with should, could, would, is a common one. Bloggers need to be taught and this is a good start ?? A.
Here’s one example I’ve seen or heard too many times: “Yes, Bob, this device has the most unique set of features I’ve seen in quite some time.”
I’ve always considered my public posts – whether on websites, blogs, forums, ezines or printed materials – to be my virtual salespeople.
To be clear Brian my setup is xp, ffox (with all sort of language add-ons), locale set to en-gb, reading with gmail, albeit on a Spanish os laptop, based in Spain, receiving your article via feedblitz. My peeves about language on and off the web, more so in cultures that are vulnerable from the onslaught of English are typically related to poor translation/localisation.
It’s amazing how many clumsy sentence constructions can pop out like the proverbial sore wotsit when you do that
Brian, I am italian and I did learn Latin during the high school… but I had no clue about the difference between i.e. and e.g.! Actually I did not even know they were Latin abbreviations.