Content Notes from the Grammar Police

Dec 08, 2014 Posted by Craig Joseph in Marketing

At Cassel Bear, we’re fans of great marketing copy. Nothing gets us more excited than watching a business or organization begin to articulate a unique brand identity or story through content that is well-crafted, distinctively voiced, and engaging.

Too often, though, what is said gets lost in how it’s said. Grammar gaffes and spelling mistakes mar even the best website or print piece. Do we all make occasional slips when writing, proofreading, and editing? Yes. Do these goof-ups affect the way that our audience perceives you and your competence? Double yes.

So, as you are crafting your content, here are a few friendly reminders.

  • Beware of homonyms. Really, folks, we’ve got to get a hold of your / you’re. Not to mention there / their / they’re. And let’s not forget here / hear.
  • The semi-colon (;) is your friend, but only when you are connecting two related and complete sentences that could also stand independently. 

Correct: I’m going on a date; we’re going to dinner and a movie.

Incorrect: I’m going on a date; for dinner and a movie.

  • Don’t be so possessive. It’s is a short way of saying “it is.” It’s not a way of indicating belonging.  So, the dog enjoys its bone, not it’s bone.
  • A and E can be tricky, or useful. StationEry comes in an Envelope. StationAry is Apathetic and doesn’t move. And develop some similar mind tricks for Affect / Effect and Accept / Except while you’re at it.
  • Do you know the differences between a hyphen, an em-dash, and an en-dash? This copywriter didn’t until he got yelled at by Jessica Kirkwood. Check it out: www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/dashes.asp. And learn these keystrokes:

For an en-dash (–), the keystroke is “option” + “-“.

For an em-dash (—), the keystroke is “shift” + “option” “-“.

Join us again soon, when we’ll discuss the relative merits and demerits of the Oxford comma.


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