What have we reviewed so far?
Week 1, September 2: Comma Splice
Week 2, September 9: Choosing the right word
Week 3, September 16: Avoiding Apostrophe Catastrophe
Today, we’re going to look at some ways the misuse of “English Grammar” could hinder your ability to garner more followers, turn away potential followers, lose followers, and more. We are looking at English Grammar because that is the predominant language in WordPress – and this topic is from the WordPress Support Site.
Have you noticed WordPress has a “proof-reading” option? Look for the ABC and check mark.
English Grammar and Style Options (Click for the full article. I’ve copied and pasted this one section, but I am going to add in examples)
The proofreader applies many of its grammar rules by default. These extra options find patterns of poor writing style:
Bias language may offend or alienate different groups of readers. Persistent use of “man” instead of more neutral gender, i.e. Policeman: Use law enforcement officer.
Clichés are overused phrases with little reader impact. From Writer’s Digest, here are 12 clichés to avoid:
1. Avoid it like the plague
2. Dead as a doornail
3. Take the tiger by the tail
4. Low hanging fruit
5. If only walls could talk
6. The pot calling the kettle black
7. Think outside the box
8. Thick as thieves
9. But at the end of the day
10. Plenty of fish in the sea
11. Every dog has its day
12. Like a kid in a candy store
Complex phrases are words or phrases with simpler every-day alternatives. Let’s take “use” and “utilize.” According to the Oxford Dictionaries, the word “use” means, “take, hold, or deploy (something) as a means of accomplishing a purpose or achieving a result.” While “utilize” means to “make practical and effective use of.” And though there is a distinction between the two words, there is rarely an occasion to use “utilize” instead of “use.” Click here for the rest of many more examples.
Diacritical marks are accents and marks attached to letters in some nouns and words borrowed from other languages. This option helps restore these marks in your writing. We just used one in clichés, above. I used the word, Finance, in a recent post. My husband proof-read it and said that word didn’t make sense, since I was referring to a person. I didn’t have the diacritical mark to say Financé.
A double negative is one negative phrase followed by another. The negatives cancel each other out, making the meaning hard to understand.
A hidden verb is a verb made into a noun. These often need extra verbs to make sense.
Jargon phrases are foreign words and phrases that only make sense to certain people.
Passive voice obscures or omits the sentence subject. Frequent use of passive voice makes your writing hard to understand.
Phrases to avoid are wishy-washy or indecisive phrases.
Redundant phrases can be shortened by removing an unneeded word.