Recently the Internet has become obsessed with perfect grammar. A simple Facebook post about a weekend trip to the beach turns into a battle zone of contractions, spelling errors and the new term, “grammar police.” This name is often attributed to those that comment on posts or statuses to point out any mistakes they may see. Usually, this leads to an argument between the original poster and the “grammar police” about whether or not it actually matters, and a little embarrassment from both parties.
While grammar may not be the first thing you think about when posting on social media, it should be. This platform is accessible by everyone and is a direct representation of you and the company you represent. Regardless of whether you’re writing for social media or an article that your clients may see, grammar is just as important as the content you’re creating.
It’s easy to make a mistake, but there are some simple ways to make it less frequent:
1. Don’t rely on spell check: Although spellcheck may sometimes be a life saver, it’s important not to rely on it as your only safety net. Many things can slip by spellcheck or be incorrectly marked as wrong. Use it as only one of your many tools to check work.
2. Print and proofread from the bottom up: This one may sound a little silly, but it is effective. Once you become familiar with a piece of writing your eyes are much more likely to skim over the material, leaving you unable to recognize an error. Combat this by printing your work and reading it from the bottom up; your brain will recognize it as a new piece of writing and allow you to better concentrate on each sentence.
3. Ask for help: There’s a good chance that you’re going to miss something on your own. Things that sound great to you may come across as awkward or wordy to others. Asking a colleague to check your work and give constructive feedback will help you avoid an embarrassing mistake. It’s better for a co-worker to find the error than your audience.
Triple checking your work for grammar errors may be tedious in nature, but in the end it will pay off big time. Anytime you’re creating written content, leave yourself enough time to sit down with your work and make sure it is clean and free of mistakes. Otherwise, you may become the victim of an attack from the “grammar police.”