GrammarPhile Blog

Top Six Mistakes Editors and Proofreaders Make

Posted by Conni Eversull   Nov 8, 2018 7:30:00 AM

Editors and proofreaders have many responsibilities and work extremely hard to make sure that every piece of writing they touch is as perfect as it can be before it’s published. They work hard to fix everything from the smallest of typos to the most egregious errors. However, they are still human. And sometimes they make mistakes; not very often … but sometimes.

Here are the top six mistakes editors and proofreaders make, that you’ll want to avoid making yourself.  

1. Not Verifying the Intended Audience

It’s important to know the intended audience for the document you are editing or proofreading. The intended audience will dictate the tone and voice of a written piece, as well as its overall syntax. And an intended audience will dictate which style guide and editorial guidelines are followed as a piece is being written, edited, and proofread. In addition, the intended audience will dictate what type of information needs to be further explained and what terms and acronyms need to be spelled out, kept abbreviated, or omitted.

Read More

Topics: common proofreading mistakes

8 Tips for Understanding, Learning, and Teaching Grammar Concepts

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Nov 1, 2018 7:30:00 AM

One poll highlighted by the Huffington Post revealed that most people are okay with using improper grammar in texts and emails. And then there are those of us who cringe every time a word is misspelled, a pronoun is misused, or an article or period is missing from a sentence … yes, even in text messages.

While we could blame technology for the downward spiral of proper grammar usage in everyday writing and communication, one could also argue that a lot of improper grammar usage boils down to how we understand, learn, and teach core grammar concepts (also known as the dumbing down of our culture).  

Here are eight tips and reminders for understanding, learning, and teaching grammar concepts. Think of this blog post as your helpful cheat sheet when you’re trying to figure out a grammar problem. (Keep in mind, though, this is not an exhaustive list of every grammar rule or technique out there.)

1. Remember the Eight Parts of Speech

Every real word is a “part of speech.” The function a word serves in a sentence is what makes it whatever part of speech it is. And it is possible for one word to serve as more than one part of speech even in one sentence.

Read More

Topics: grammar rules, grammar errors, grammar

Why Is Parallel Structure Important in Writing?

Posted by Kelly Creighton   Oct 25, 2018 7:52:54 AM

We often forget how important the overall structure of a sentence is to its flow, meaning, and tone. And we also take common grammatical practices for granted when we use parallel structure, because we typically use them with ease and without much intentional thought at all. However, when we get parallel structure in writing wrong, it goes really wrong and we typically never even notice it without the help of a reliable editor or proofreader.

What Is Parallel Structure?

Parallel structure in writing is also called “parallelism.” Here’s a definition of “parallel structure” provided by Purdue Online Writing Lab:

Parallel structure means using the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. This can happen at the word, phrase, or clause level. The usual way to join parallel structures is with the use of coordinating conjunctions such as “and” and “or.”

Overall, parallel structure guarantees uniformity and consistency throughout a piece of writing, to ensure its clarity and accuracy. And by making each compared item or idea in a phrase or clause follow the same grammatical pattern, you create a parallel construction.

Read More

Topics: parallel structure, parallelism

QUIZ: Can You Spot All the Grammar Mistakes?

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Oct 19, 2018 7:30:00 AM

Do you consider yourself a grammar aficionado, a.k.a. a grammar geek?

Do you know how to avoid common grammar mistakes, and can you easily spot them when they’re in a sentence?

Do you know how to properly use hyphens, dashes, and commas?

Take this quiz. See if you can correctly identify all the grammar mistakes, and then share your results with us and others (if you’re brave). And be sure to share this quiz with others too.

Read More

Topics: grammar quiz, quiz, punctuation quiz

What You Need to Know About Comma Usage

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Oct 4, 2018 7:30:00 AM

Has anyone ever told you that you should insert a comma into a sentence every time you take a breath as you read the sentence aloud? Most of us probably have. But that doesn’t mean it’s a grammar rule that should be widely accepted or slavishly followed.  

Below you’ll find more practical and grammatically validated information about comma usage.  

Commas and Conjunctions

Commas should always be used when you’re using coordinating conjunctions to join two independent clauses in a sentence. FANBOYS (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So) is a helpful mnemonic device for remembering common coordinating conjunctions. Those words function as connectors in a sentence.

Example: He wanted to go to the movies, but I wanted to go out to dinner.

Note: Be aware of FANBOYS imposters that are commonly used in sentences, such as “however,” “therefore,” “moreover,” etc. Those words are conjunctive adverbs. Oftentimes when they’re used in between two independent clauses in a sentence, they can be removed to form two complete sentences instead. For example, consider this sentence: “The moon was bright, however, the forest still remained dark.” It can be changed to read: “The moon was bright. The forest still remained dark.”

Read More

Topics: Comma, Oxford comma

7 Tips to Write Stimulating Pieces About Trending or Worn-Out Topics

Posted by Conni Eversull   Sep 28, 2018 7:30:00 AM

When you write about a niche or an industry on an ongoing basis, it’s inevitable that you’ll eventually find yourself in a situation where you’ll need to write about something that others have already covered ad nauseum. You’ll want to write about trending or worn-out topics to focus on search engine optimization (SEO), to demonstrate your thought leadership, and to continue to write about things your audiences care about. But you’ll also want to avoid simply regurgitating what everyone else is writing about, because that will only disengage your audience.

Here are some things you can do when writing about trending or worn out topics, to keep your writing more stimulating and your audiences engaged.

Read More

Topics: writing about boring topics, writing for your audience

Quiz: Match Each Famous Author to His or Her Advice About Writing

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Sep 20, 2018 7:30:00 AM

What words of inspiration or truth have encouraged you to become a better writer over the years, or have encouraged you to begin writing at all? What keeps you motivated and focused while you write? Have you acquired or heeded any advice about writing from some of the world’s greatest authors? And if so, from whom?

Take our quiz to see if you can match each piece of advice about writing with its famous author. And share what your favorite advice about writing is in the comments below.

Read More

Topics: quiz

What You Need to Know About AI and Writing in the Digital Age

Posted by Kelly Creighton   Sep 13, 2018 7:30:00 AM

Ready or not, we’ve already begun living in the fourth industrial revolution: the age of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robots, biotechnology, and smart devices. And in this new era, a lot of individuals are becoming concerned that robots will start stealing and destroying jobs across industries, replacing their human counterparts, and that they’ll eventually run everything in the world … or at the very least change the way that everything operates.

Read More

Topics: artificial intelligence, writers

Marketers and Writers — What’s the Difference?

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Sep 6, 2018 7:30:09 AM

As the online world has become more saturated with written content in the past couple of decades, the distinctions between what marketers do and what writers do have become extremely blurred. At first it may not seem obvious that such once-distinct professions are melding together, depending on your own profession. But it’s true. After all, why do employers seem to think that marketers should have top-rated writing skills? And why do employers and online entities believe their marketers should write digital content? Further, why do writers need an excellent online presence and digital marketing skills to get their content read and shared online?

Read More

Topics: content, marketing writing, writing

Your Feedback Wanted - Quick Survey

Posted by Conni Eversull   Aug 30, 2018 8:04:26 AM

What Do You Want to Read About on Our Blog?

Whether you’re a new visitor to our blog (welcome!) or have been reading our blog posts every week for years, you’re invited to take this quick survey.

We want to learn more about our readers and want to continue to write about things that are relevant to you and what you care about most. 

Thanks for completing our survey!

Read More

Topics: blog posts, blog, survey

Subscribe to Email Updates

Sign up for our emails!

Sign Up

Search Our Blog

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all