As business owners it’s important to have copy that is readable, clear and grammatically correct. Now I’m no expert, but for the most part I got all A’s and B’s in my AP English classes (smile) and worked as a proofreader many years ago. I have always enjoyed reading and writing, so way back when, I decided to get my master’s in professional writing. After reading books and documents, I’d find myself noticing things only a critically trained eye would. Years of editing fellow classmates and my student’s assignments kept my red pen busy. When I worked as a proofreader for a publishing company, the process forced me to become a better writer.
Social media has made it easy for us to post things but what we post can come back to bite us, especially when we are trying to convey a proper message to our followers. It is amazing how many people still use words incorrectly and then when it’s brought to their attention they say things like, “Oh I don’t care, it’s just social media.” Or, “So what, I was just typing to fast.” (We’ve all been there but not on every post sis.)
My OMG moment came when a former superintendent in a district I worked for, presented a Power Point packed with grammatical errors and misspelled words to the entire school district. My entire row scoffed as he tried to talk through the mistakes. I couldn’t listen to anything he had to say.
Making sure your copy flows and presents well is key for you and your brand or business. Here’s a few tips and some ways to help you with managing your content:
- to edit (a manuscript, document, text, etc.) for publication, especially for punctuation, spelling,grammatical structure, style, etc.
- to read (printers’ proofs, copy, etc.) in order to detect and mark errors to be corrected.
- a writer of copy, especially for advertisements or publicity releases
- the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work,whether printed, audio, video, etc.:
A few notes about grammar and word usage:
It isn’t uncommon for words to be misused, but if your copy is filled with examples of incorrect word usage and grammatical errors, you might want to hire a copy editor. Here’s a few of the most commonly misused words:
- in or at that place (opposed to here):She is there now.
- at that point in an action, speech, etc.:He stopped there for applause.
- in that matter, particular, or respect:His anger was justified there.
- a form of the possessive case of they used as an attributive adjective, before a noun:
- contraction of they are.
- (a form of the possessive case of you used as an attributive adjective):Your jacket is in that closet. I like your idea.Compare yours.
- one’s (used to indicate that one belonging to oneself or to any person):The consulate is your best source of information. As you go down the hill, the library is on your left.
- (used informally to indicate all members of a group, occupation, etc., or things of a particular type):Take your factory worker, for instance. Your power brakes don’t need that much servicing.
- contraction of you are:You’re certain that’s right?
Tips for Good Copy:
- Use clear, concise, well-written sentences.
- Get to the point.
- Always read or (have a proofreader read) your copy before posting to ensure readability.
- Knowing the differences between commonly misused words will alleviate common grammar mistakes. View the list of the 20 commonly misused words here.