Updated: Mar 8
As an author, which also entails being a proof-reader and editor, I have an eye for such things. Correcting spelling and grammar in my head as I read anything (and I read a LOT) is second nature to me. Fortunately for my own peace of mind, I don’t get upset about little typos and such when people post on their personal profiles on Facebook and so on. Trust me, I am not the best typist when it comes to smartphones, either. I never thought I had big fingers until those were invented. Haha!
And typing a quick update on your life and such isn’t really the place where you have to spellcheck everything. Despite being a perfectionist, I don’t see that this is necessary, so if you’re one of my many FB friends, don’t feel intimidated or judged.
However, when I buy a book on Kindle and the spelling and grammar is poor, the formatting all over the place and some sentences don’t even make any sense, that’s when things get hairy. After all, I write books, too. And for people to abuse the opportunity to publish so easily by drowning good, quality work in such poor quality works hurts all serious Indie authors. Besides, if you pay for it, you want a return on your money. And before you think, it’s cool to publish a book just because it’s the latest fad, please think again. I appeal to your conscience.
Yes, the odd typo might slip through undetected, even on the third editing read, but when your work is near illegible, that’s not funny anymore. Nowadays, you can learn how to spellcheck and grammar check yourself through various online forum posts, YouTube videos and so on. The print version books on Author Central even provide free templates in all sizes for you to use. So there is no reason why one heading should be in Times New Roman, size 24 and the other in Calibri, size 36, for example. Not to mention that one has a different formatting than the other.
If you’d like to learn some more, but can’t face working your way through a dry textbook full of technical terms, I greatly recommend the following book by Patricia T. O’Connor, Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. I promise, rather than falling asleep over it or tearing your hair out by the roots, you’ll be laughing tears. And as we’ve learned in my earlier blog post The Truth About Learning, you learn best when it’s fun. So this is a no-brainer!
So let’s face it and look at the 10 most common grammatical errors people make. And yes, they are way more common than you might think.
Grammar Error #1
Seems an obvious one, but you won’t believe how often these two are used interchangeably!
Please, make sure, you are clear on which one is appropriate to use in any given context.
Grammar Error #2
Another big one, probably more commonly confused. Here is what it means:
I won’t confuse you with big words like possessive pronouns. Those are not necessary to know, anyhow, unless you’re studying English literature or something similar or are a language teacher. Important is how you use them and that you understand what the meaning behind them is.
Take time to learn this and if you have any questions, don’t be shy to pop me a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask. I’m happy to help make this world a better place and quality in the use of language is part of this.