Friday, March 15, 2013

Welcome back guest blogger and EAFocus colleague Sara Przybylski!

4 things to check for in your writing

I recently saw a picture of a tattoo that read “Live You’re Life.” It got me thinking about how careless we have become in our writing and making sure we are using correct spelling and proper grammar. Unfortunately for this individual, their lack of proofreading is permanently marked on their side. For the rest of us, here are four items to check for in your writing.
1.   Their, There and They’re
Along with the use of “your” or “you’re”, the improper use of “their, there or they’re” is just as common. Many of us learned the correct usage in elementary school but here is a friendly reminder:
Their – refers to the third person possessive adjective. [Example: Where is their house?]
There – refers to many things, one being a location. [Example: My car is over there.]
They’re – is the contraction of “they” and “are”. [Example: They’re going to the concert tonight.]
2.   Since vs. Between
This one can be a little trickier and isn’t as commonly talked about as number one. The proper use of “since” and “between”:
Since – refers to time. [Example: My parents haven’t slept since 1988.]
Between – refers to a relation. [Example: The distance between us has increased.]
3.   Over vs. More Than
A big thank you to one of my college professors who made us PR students learn the AP Stylebook like the back of our hand. I don’t remember everything and still have to reference the book occasionally, but this is one lesson I don’t think I will ever forget (and I hope you won’t either). The difference between “over” and “more than”:
Over – refers to spatial relationships. [Example: The cow jumped over the moon.]
          More Than – refers to numerical values. [Example: There were more than 50 people in attendance.]
4.   That, that, that…
Writing is all about being concise and straight to the point. Throwing “that” in every sentence to extend your word count no longer provides succinct content for your readers. You will be surprised how few times the word “that” is actually needed to clearly portray your thoughts.
Case in point: I have not used the word that until this section of my blog post and the word that will not appear again.
We’re not all perfect when it comes to writing. However, we all need to start proof reading our work a little more and relying on spell check less.
What other common errors do you see in writing?

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