I’ve been blogging for close to ten years and reading online articles for as long as I can remember. Much of my online reading began as research for school projects. Throughout my years browsing the web, and now as a college graduate with a BA in English and concentration in Writing Studies, there is one rule I’ve stuck by: If there are basic grammatical or mechanical errors on the website, I refuse to use the site as a source for just about anything. Poor grammar and mechanics drop a website’s level of credibility. If you want the world to be intrigued by what you have to say, keep it clean.
Here, I’ve provided a few of the most common mistakes I’ve come across through my travels in hopes that they may benefit your blogging.
1. A Lot and Alot
“Alot” is not a word. I find this most commonly used among people on social networking sites such as Facebook. Perhaps you may be thinking of the word “allot,” which is completely unrelated to “a lot.” “Allot” is a verb meaning to assign a specific amount or portion of something to someone.
Example: “She allots herself 10 hours a week for blogging.”
“A lot” is an adjective and refers to a large amount of something.
Example: “WordPress has a lot of plugins to improve your blogging experience.”
2. All Ready and Already
The phrase “all ready,” implies that all steps necessary to move forward have been completed. Example: “Everyone in the class has officially created a WordPress account. They are all ready to take the tutorial.”
Example: “Everyone in the class has already set up an email account.”
Another FYI: “can not” is incorrect. The correct form is “cannot.”
4. It’s and Its
Now we’re getting into contractions. Many, many people get these two confused. “It’s” is a contraction, joining “it” and “is” (or occasionally joining “it” and “has”). There is no other situation in which you would use “it’s.”
Example: “WordPress is common among bloggers because it’s easy to use.”
“It” is a pronoun. To make this word possessive, you add an “s” to the end, just like with “her” and “hers.”
Example: “Be careful with your textbook. Its binding is fragile.”
5. They’re, Their, and There
More fun with contractions and possession! Another huge mistake many of us make is the misuse of any of these three words. To start, “they’re” is a contraction. It joins the words “they” and “are.”
Example: “Bloggers are very enlightened. They’re some of the most knowledgeable people you’ll ever meet.”
“Their” is the possessive form of “they.” It is used when describing something of a particular group.
Example: “Bloggers need reliable internet connections, so their internet providers are often top of the line.”
Unlike the previous two words, “there” has nothing to do with the word “they.” “There” is a word that tends to take the place of another word, often a location.
Example: “Paris is a great place to get inspiration for a travel blog. My fiance and I are planning to go there for our honeymoon.”
6. You’re and Your
And lastly, the two that make my skin crawl when used incorrectly, “you’re” and “your.” “You’re” is yet again another contraction, this time using the words “you” and “are.”
Example: “You’re an excellent blogger.”
The word “your” is the possessive form of “you.” This word is only used when referring to something that belongs to or is related to you.
Example: “Your blog has more views this month than the last two months put together!”
These are just some of the many mistakes poisoning content of the online world. I often find some of these troublesome, myself, so I find it’s best to keep a list of common errors handy whenever I’m writing.
Hope these blurbs have been helpful for you. Happy blogging!