How You Can Avoid Common Writing Blunders

by on February 7, 2012 · 18 comments

in Article Writing

My New Domain

Today  I wanted to let you know that my domain name has changed.  So, if you came to my blog by writing http://persuasivearticleamarketing.com in your browser you may have noticed that it turned into http://sylvianenuccio.com which is now the URL of this blog.

This makes the URL much shorter and easier to remember, especially if you know my name.  In the process, however, I lost all the tweet counts on all my posts, and it seems that there isn’t anything that I can do about this.  If you know any different, please, let me know in the comment area!

Transferring a domain is much, much more work than I thought it was and I don’t think I would ever do it again, to tell you the truth. However, this needed to be done this one time and I am glad I did it.

I have to say that that Hostagtor was great in helping me. The representative who helped me with my domain transfer this week end went well above and beyond her range of duties and I just wanted to say thank you.  I had no problem filling out the survey and saying I will recommend Hostgator to anyone.  They are great for people like me who don’t always know what they are doing when it comes to technical stuff.

So, now that you know about my new URL and why all my tweets are blank, without further ado, here is the guest post…

How To Avoid Common Writing Blunders

All writers strive for excellent written communication, regardless of the audience or purpose.  However, common mistakes will trip up even the most prolific scribes.  Here are some of the most commonly made mistakes and how professional writers in all areas avoid them.

Spelling and Word Use

What did you mean to say: Your or you’re; it’s or its; there, their, or they’re; loose or lose? It’s not the computer’s job to know which word is correct for the meaning being conveyed. How about these: affect or effect (affect is the verb; effect is the noun); accept or except. Be sure to read your work carefully before submitting as the final draft.

Pronoun Use

When to use me, I, and myself seem to regularly present problems. This is largely due to writers wanting their work to appear more formal. Realistically, though, phrases like I, myself…; or …by myself are the only two permissible times to use myself.

When using I or me check these examples, I will go to the park; so, You and I will go to the park. Correctly stated, Carol took me to the gym; me is the object, not the subject.  Me is not used as a subject: Me took a walk…? I don’t think so, do you?

Dangling Participles or Misplaced Modifiers

This is where grandma may be rotten instead of the potatoes, or did the potatoes come in from the rain. It’s so confusing!
Coming in from the rain, Grandma’s potatoes were rotten.
And this one brings a smile:
An elephant rumbled down the street, gray with dust.
Which one was dusty?

Lack of Subject/Verb Agreement

A singular subject requires a singular verb, and vice versa; a plural subject takes a plural verb. These may just be typos, but a thorough proofing of the document points them out quite readily. For example, “George helps Dan repair the motor.” Here is a case of a plural subject, along with a plural verb. Often times when using a singular verb, the verb ends with an s, e.g., The dog barks loudly.”

Sentence Fragments

By remembering to include a subject and verb, and usually an object, sentence fragments become avoidable. For example, this phrase. There is no verb or object. Hopefully the handy computer will pick up sentence fragments, but not always.

Use of Apostrophes

Namely used with contractions or to make nouns possessive, apostrophes help make sentences a bit more concise. In addition, please note the following: could’ve, should’ve, and would’ve. When writing, please remember the contraction used here is for would have, as opposed to would of. It is incorrect to say the latter at any time.

i.e. or e.g.

These may not be as common as the others, but it is beneficial to know how to use them. I.e. indicates in other words, while e.g. replaces for example. They are far from being interchangeable. Some people are not aware of this one at all.

Writing blunders certainly do not have to be the norm. After burning through your paper or article, take time to carefully read it aloud, or if you are quite brave, have someone else read it.  Hopefully, the above offerings will create awareness so in the future your first draft might just be your final draft.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson about writing “correctly”.  When you do it really sets you apart and your piece can stand out!

Please, let us know if you enjoyed it in the comment area!

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Article by

Terry Ford can spot an em dash a mile away and leap dangling modifiers in a single bound. As a professional blogger and freelance writer she relies heavily on a great grammar checker to avoid these common mistakes.

Terry has written 1 awesome articles for us at SylvianeNuccio.com

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anthony Armnani February 7, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Those tips is really something I could use for my writing improvement. Thank you. I’m sorry you’ve lost your tweets, Sylviane, but I’m sure you’ll get many more in the future :)

Reply

2 Sylviane Nuccio February 7, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Yes, Anthony,

I think anyone can use tips like these, don’t we?

Reply

3 Roger Shann February 7, 2012 at 3:08 PM

As usual a very instrutive post Sylviane. Grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes often clash for me although some people do not seem to mind them.

Even blogging as our cat I try not to trip up this way.

Roger

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4 Sylviane Nuccio February 7, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Thanks Roger,

There are some people who are bothered by spelling and grammar errors and other that aren’t so much, but I always want to go with the ones that are, because it forces me to write better :)

Thanks for coming by and have a great day!

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5 Cris Marston February 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

This was very helpful!!! I was misusing the i.e. and e.g. all this time! So, thank you.
Other great reminders as well. I have, on occasion, e-mailed my post to a (teacher) friend to edit before I will publish it. A bit more security in avoiding some heinous mistake.

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6 Sylviane Nuccio February 8, 2012 at 12:48 AM

Hi Cris,

Welcome here and hope you’ll be back. I didn’t know the difference between i.e. and e.g. either. This was a revelation to me too. Love learning new stuff like this :)

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7 Pnina February 8, 2012 at 1:21 AM

Thank you so much for this Information, I am a beginner and certainly appreciate the great advice.I will also share this with my English writing students.

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8 Sylviane Nuccio February 8, 2012 at 4:16 AM

Hello Pnina,

Thanks so much for passing by and I hope to see you again. I’m glad you like the info in this post.

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9 Janet Callaway February 8, 2012 at 3:02 AM

Sylviane, aloha. Congratulations on the name of your new blog. How did you ever happen to select it? Seriously, even though the move may have been a bit frustrating, it was a good move. People can remember your name, however, it is often difficult to remember a multi-word blog name.

With this change, you are branding your name as well as establishing your expertise and the purpose of your blog with your tag line.

Thanks so much for the guide to common writing blunders which happen more often than we would like.

Best wishes for a magnificent week ahead. Until next time, aloha. Janet

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10 Sylviane Nuccio February 8, 2012 at 4:14 AM

Hi Janet,

Ahahah! I should have selected this domain name six years ago, but didn’t. Thankfully, six years later and I finally decide to buy my own pretty much unique name as a domain name (so it still available) :)

The reason why I had not done that from the get go is that I didn’t know that it was actually a good idea to have a blog just called your first and last name .com, but I know better now and also my name is starting to be known just a bit more as well.

Thanks for coming by Janet and have a great one!

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11 Hajra February 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM

You know, English isn’t my first language and though I went to an English school I sometimes wonder whether I am speaking and writing it right! Also, when I am speaking it, I find myself a little lost for words sometimes; I can explain it, just that I can’t find the perfect word for it!

Thanks for this, this definitely is very informative!

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12 Sylviane Nuccio February 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Hi Hajra,

I totally understand. English is not my first language either. Funny, as a matter of fact, I have written a post about this very specific subject, but I am intending to post it as a guest post somewhere. I will let you know when it’s live.

Practice is the best remedy for this, Hajra, and you are doing great, by the way with your written English!

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13 Nicholle Olores February 14, 2012 at 11:54 PM

Those things above are helpful to me to write effectively. Writing blunders is common mistakes to writers, anyway thanks for the information!

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14 Sylviane Nuccio February 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Hi Nicholle,

You’re welcome. By the way, on my last post you can promote you online biz all you want. Make sure you take advantage of this, since you’re always coming here :)

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15 Nicholle February 28, 2012 at 12:42 AM

Thanks Sylvianne. :) I will probably take advantage of this. I always coming here because I love here and I love every post you had.

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16 Jeevanjacobjohn February 20, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Hey Sylviane,

Thanks for the tips :D

I don’t usually check/proof read my articles after I write them (although I do realize that proof reading is important). I think the main reason for that is I don’t type that fast and I read while I am writing (yes, it does take more time to read the articles, but I can easily avoid mistakes).

Anyways, thanks (especially for the reminders about sentence/verb agreement and fragments).

Jeevan Jacob John

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17 Sylviane Nuccio February 21, 2012 at 1:33 AM

Hey Jeevan,

I guess you are a good writer if you are confident enough not to edit your writing. I myself edit all the time a lot and then I pull my hair off when after editing I still find errors sometimes. But I do not read what I write when I write because it breaks my inspiration and makes me lose my thread of thoughts.

Thanks for your long visit here reading so many posts, hope you will come back :) I will visit your place too :)

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18 Jeevanjacobjohn February 21, 2012 at 1:46 AM

Nah, I am not that of a great writer (I just spend lots of time – writing it, so I pretty much cover the mistakes when I am writing it). I haven’t had that experience. Reading while writing has actually helped me to get more ideas.

No problem :) Yes, I will come back. The problem with me is that once I comment on a blog, I will surely come back :D (It has worked that way for most blogs).

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