To achieve your content marketing goals, you must clearly communicate with your audience. By avoiding these grammar mistakes, you can ensure that your message is understood. Here’s our list of five errors to avoid:
- Unclear Pronouns
DON’T: Sally and Jenny work well together, but her promotion may complicate their relationship.
DO: Sally and Jenny work well together, but Jenny’s promotion may complicate their relationship.
The first sentence uses the pronoun “her” without specifying which of the women was promoted. In the second sentence, it is clear who was promoted; “Jenny” is the antecedent for the pronoun “her.”
- Overusing Adverbs
DON’T: We ran quickly to the elevator.
DO: We sprinted to the elevator.
Adverbs can often be omitted in favor of a stronger verb. Both of the above sentences convey the same idea, but the second one is not only more concise, but also more vivid.
DON’T: It has come to our attention that last week’s sales were low.
DO: Last week’s sales were low.
As Kevin Malone said, “why waste time say lot word when few word do trick?” But seriously, save yourself and your audience some time by cutting to the chase. Direct language streamlines your writing to highlight key ideas without all the fluff.
- Inconsistent Oxford/Serial Commas
With the Comma: The meeting will include the management team, HR, and
Without: The meeting will include the management team, HR and
We won’t tell you which side to choose, but pick one and stick to it! Switching between using and not using serial commas can be confusing to readers. Many style guides state whether or not to use serial commas, so follow your chosen guidelines.
- Beware of Homophones
DON’T: I eluded to this development last week.
DO: I alluded to this development last week.
Homophones are two words that sound the same but have different meanings, which means that they may be easily missed when you are reviewing your writing. Many spell check tools also check for grammar issues. However, another team member should always proofread your communications to be sure that mistakes don’t slip through the cracks.
If you want to learn more grammar tips, check out our advice here and stay tuned! You can follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to never miss a post.
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