These Grammatical Errors Look Unprofessional
You could be making these mistakes in your writing, emails or posts
I have received many emails from companies or viewed content on websites and social media pages that make these simple errors time and time again. It instantly reduces the reputability of that company.
If I see professional writers or businesses making these mistakes, I am instantly turned away from what you are trying to tell me. How can I invest in you as a person or business, if you cannot write adhering to basic grammar rules?
When a body of writing is grammatically incorrect, it looks careless and inefficient. The issue is, where so many people are oblivious to these errors, they are only perpetuating them further and avoiding correction.
You do not want to fall into the category of someone who is too careless to correct your grammatical mistakes, whether you are writing for yourself or for a company.
So, here are my top five grammatical pet hates:
Plenty of people do not even realise that there is a difference between these two words. Commonly, people use the word ‘effect’ for both words, not differentiating between the two. The word ‘affect’ is a verb, meaning to make a difference to something else.
‘Making these simple changes began to affect his writing positively’.
The word ‘effect’ is a noun, which describes the consequence of an action or change.
‘After following these simple grammatical guidelines, the effect on his writing was enormous’.
2. Using a Semicolon In Place of a Colon
So often I see people confusing the difference between a colon and a semicolon, which is frequent enough to confirm that it isn’t just a miss-hit.
The semi-colon is used to indicate a pause in a sentence. It should be used to join two related independent clauses together.
‘It is raining today; the ground is rather slippery’.
The colon, whilst looking very similar, is used for an entirely different purpose. A colon is used to show an idea or a list of things. This form of punctuation almost says ‘here is what I am trying to show’.
‘I have three main hobbies: reading, writing and watching TV’.
3. Don’t Refer to an Entity or Company as ‘They’
Commonly, people refer to an entity or brand as a collective group of people, which is incorrect. A business should not be referred to as a plural, it is a singular entity.
Incorrect: ‘After Blockbuster closed down, they continued to pay their workers for a month’.
Correct: ‘After Blockbuster closed down, it continued to pay its workers for a month’.
4. i.e Verus e.g.
These two Latin abbreviations are often confused for one another and are also commonly formatted incorrectly.
i.e. means ‘in other words’, so will be used to clarify a point you have just made.
‘I am a great writer, i.e. the next Shakespeare’.
Whereas, e.g. means ‘for example’. This is used to give an example for a point you have just made.
‘There have been many great writers in history, e.g. Shakespeare, Fitzgerald and Jane Austen’.
Not only are these terms usually mistaken for each other, but they are also formatted in an incorrect fashion. People often don’t put a dot in between each letter of the abbreviation and mistakenly only put one at the end.
5. Use Who When Talking About a Person
If you are writing about a person, you must use ‘who’ instead of ‘that’.
Incorrect: ‘Mark is a person that enjoys the finer things in life’.
Correct: ‘Mark is a person who enjoys the finer things in life’.
These grammatical mistakes are sometimes easy to overlook and have become ingrained into the way we write due to the lack of correction. Whilst they are commonly made by many, they still make your writing look sloppy. Making these simple changes will elevate your writing and make your website, social media and emails appear professional.