In today's edition, we're on grammar patrol. When it comes to potential mates, there's no bigger turnoff than poor grammar -- one email littered with dangling modifiers or non-parallel constructions and we're done. Ick.
While that may seem way too picky, perhaps in an OCD kind of way, it's not a bad method for keeping Darwin on top -- we see a chance for natural selection to work in every run-on sentence. Remember: Together, we can weed out those woeful writers.
You may not be keen on turning over your love life to Strunk and White, but we suggest you embrace a real sense of grammar diligence when it comes to blogging and developing content for your website.
We're constantly amazed -- and sickened, frankly -- by how many people can't spell to save their lives. Or by how many times we've stumbled upon "right" instead of "write" or "you're" instead of "your." OK, homophones and possessives can be tricky, but remember to just take a few minutes to re-read your blog post, link bait piece or website copy block before pushing the "publish" button.
We understand not everyone went to journalism school or snuggled at night with a copy of The Associated Press style guide. If grammar isn't your strong suit, find someone with a better eye and ask them to give your copy a once-over. As professional writers, we can't tell you how wholly unprofessional those awkward constructions and misspellings look -- and how much damage they can inflict. You will lose readers, respect and, ultimately, business because of those errors.
So, do yourself a favor and use one of the 6,392 dictionaries and thesauri available online when sitting down to write. Don't be afraid to ask questions or question your word choice and sentence construction. Pick up a couple of grammar and style books if it's not a strong suit, and make sure to scour the Internet for sources. We're big fans of Copyblogger, for example.
But, in the end, you can't go wrong with the O.G. of copywriting manuals: Strunk and White, baby. Pick up another old newspaper editor's favorite, William Zinser's "On Writing Well," while you're adding to your copywriting library.
The bottom line is this: Dedicate time to honing your writing and editing skills. Your ever-increasing roster of visitors and clients (as well as your ever-expanding bank account) will thank you.