A Guide to Punctuation and Grammar Rules: 3 Common Mistakes

We all learned basic punctuation and grammar rules in grade school, but years of speaking and listening to the English language as it changes and grows can have an effect on your writing. Written language morphs less quickly than spoken language, so sometimes the two can contradict each other. New words and slang terms can cloud our basic understanding of punctuation and grammar. It is important for businesses to communicate clearly with the public and this includes all written communication, both in print and online. Here are 3 punctuation and grammar rules that are commonly broken, and how to correct them.

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Photo Courtesy of: Graham Seaman

3 Commonly-Broken Punctuation and Grammar Rules

  1. A Misused Apostrophe

The apostrophe seems to trip people up consistently. The rule here is simple: to make words plural, add the letter “s” and you don’t need an apostrophe. You do need to add an apostrophe when using a possessive word. For example, you can say “Our family’s car.” You also need an apostrophe when creating a conjunction like, “He’s alright.” Here’s where you don’t need to use an apostrophe: in dates, times or to make abbreviations or acronyms plural.

  1. Using “They” and “Their” to Describe People

A common grammar mistake is using the words “they” or “their” to describe people. If you use one plural word, then all the words in the sentence must also be in plural form. It is best to use “his or her” in place of “they” or “their.” You can sometimes cut out the need for these words entirely, by just saying, “Everyone must eat lunch,” in place of, “Everyone must eat their lunch.” The ownership of the word is usually implied by the subject.

  1. Punctuation and Quotation Marks

People commonly use quotation marks to show emphasis on certain words, which is incorrect. Only use quotation marks to denote words that were quoted by a person, or words for which the meaning is unclear or exaggerated. Punctuation should also always be inside the quotation marks, not outside.

Using proper punctuation and grammar rules can be a challenge, but if you write consistently and correctly, they will soon become second nature. Even though you want to write conversationally for your audience, it is important to use proper punctuation and grammar and not slang or colloquial lingo. If you need more writing tips, check out the Three Girls Media blog today!

 

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My Hope Chest: Making a Real Difference for Survivors

Take action this month with My Hope Chest!

Take action this month with My Hope Chest!

By now, you’re probably well aware that it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. But is your support really making a difference? Most people are already know how common breast cancer is and have even fought it themselves or know someone that did. So what should we be aware of this month? I say we should raise awareness for a way we can take ACTION!

At Three Girls Media, one way we’re proud to take action to help the breast cancer cause year-round is by supporting My Hope Chest. This national non-profit is the only one in the country that focuses on reconstructive surgery for uninsured and underinsured breast cancer survivors. Continue reading

3 Tips for Repurposing Content

Follow these tips for repurposing content.

Follow these tips for repurposing content.

Trying to market your business online? The best digital marketing strategies include updating social media accounts daily, writing blog posts once a week, distributing e-newsletters once a month and more. Feeling overwhelmed? Good news: there’s a way to make creating all that content easier; it comes down to repurposing what you’ve already got.

Repurposing content is an important part of your digital marketing strategy. In addition to making you more efficient, it can help you keep your company’s branding and messages consistent.

3 Tips for Repurposing Content

Here are 3 tips for repurposing your various types of content. Continue reading

4 Social Media Mistakes

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Social media is a great way to boost your company’s branding. With platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter gaining more popularity than ever, it can be easy to have a few errors that prevent you from having success. Be sure to avoid these common social media mistakes and you’ll be a hashtag rock star in no time!

4 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid  Continue reading

Social Media and Crisis Communications: 3 Things to Remember

An Amber Alert in Washington this week swept across media outlets like a storm, swapping regular content and commercials with a recorded message alerting all citizens to be on the lookout. Within minutes, thousands of people heard the alert and it was spreading across the airwaves like a wildfire. But this message wasn’t just running on radio and television stations. Social media is being used in a new way to help alert the public to breaking news and is now essential to a public relations crisis communications plan.

Social media is a powerful tool that allows anyone to participate in the conversation surrounding a crisis. In a 24-hour news cycle, the overwhelming volume of information and reactions of the population can be a lot to process. An example is the cloud of panic that formed around Malaysia Airlines surrounding the disappearance of flight 370. When a crisis occurs, a company needs to be prepared to use social media as a tool to monitor the situation, ensure continuity of their business and message, and to disseminate news and updates. Here are three important things to remember when integrating social media into your crisis communications plan. Continue reading