GrammarPhile Blog

Why You Always Need to Proofread Your Website

Posted by Kelly Creighton   Jul 12, 2018 7:30:00 AM

Many websites lose readers, business, and revenue because the site contains errors. A common misconception is that website content doesn’t need to be proofread because changes can be made quickly with just one click of a button.

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Topics: proofreading errors, proofreading websites

Comma Drama, Hyper-Hyphenation, and Dusting Caps

Posted by Yashmyn Jackson   Jul 5, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Brenda, Raj, Tom, and Vickie, who formed the junior sales-and-marketing team at the start-up Awesome Products, Inc., were brainstorming email content with which to advertise their remarkable new dusting cap. Brenda had a sudden flash of inspiration, grabbed the keyboard of the room’s computer, and excitedly started typing. The others looked up at the large monitor that hung along one wall of the room as words quickly appeared there.

“‘Incredibly,’” Tom started reading aloud right away, “‘tall people must duck when walking through doorways.’”

He frowned at Brenda, who had stopped typing. “First of all, why do you think it’s incredible that tall people have to duck? Second, why do you think all tall people have to duck, anyway? I’m tall, and I don’t have to duck when I walk through doorways.”

“That’s not what she typed,” interjected Vickie, who secretly regarded Tom’s height as average. She continued, “Brenda typed, ‘Incredibly tall people must duck when walking through doorways.’”

Not noticing Brenda nodding, Tom threw a gentle smile at Vickie. “You forgot to pause after ‘Incredibly.’ You see, there’s no hyphen connecting ‘Incredibly’ and ‘tall.’ So you don’t read them together.”

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Topics: hyphenation, hyphen, Comma

Seven Best Practices for Writing Better Cold Emails

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

We’ve all had to write, or at the very least read, a cold email before. Whether you’re trying to reach out to a potential customer or client, make contact with a prospective employer or employee, or connect with someone to extend your professional or personal network, you’re familiar with sending cold emails.

When sending a cold email, you’re reaching out to a stranger, asking for their attention and a response. Writing cold emails isn’t easy to do and can be very time consuming. But there are a few best practices to keep in mind.

1. Do Your Research

First, research the individuals you’re reaching out to, to make sure they’re likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Essentially, make sure you have targeted leads, or you’ll end up wasting a lot of your time (and others’ time) and potentially giving the wrong people the wrong impression of your brand.

Once you know your prospects and what they care about, discover what specific information you can include in your email that’s tailored to them, their experiences, and what they care about. This will allow you to personalize your message. This also shows that you genuinely care about reaching them specifically and that you’re not sending out impersonal emails to a large group of prospects. Prospects will be much more likely to respond to a message that resonates with them on a personal level.

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Topics: email, email marketing

Grammar Drama: The 10 Most Hotly Debated Topics in Grammar

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Jun 21, 2018 9:17:43 AM

Because the English language continues to evolve and change over time, grammar is not a subject exempt from hot debate, especially among professional writers, editors, and proofreaders.

Here’s a list of the ten most hotly debated topics in grammar. Take a gander and then share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

1. The Oxford Comma

It seems like the debate about whether to use the Oxford comma (a.k.a. the “serial comma”) will always be around. Some style guides petition for it to be used and others contend that it should never be used. So, who’s “right”? We may never know for sure.

Examples

With the Oxford Comma: I would like to make apple, raspberry and blueberry, and peach pies for the festival.

Without the Oxford Comma: I would like to make apple, raspberry and blueberry and peach pies for the festival.

Read The Oxford Comma: Use It or Ditch It? to learn more details about this long-standing grammar debate.

2. Two Spaces After a Period

Before word processors and computers were widely used, typewriters were used to type important documents, and it was common practice to insert two spaces after every sentence typed with a typewriter for better readability. Some businesses, industries, and teachers still require individuals typing documents on word processors now to insert two spaces after every period. Yet others think that doing this makes things harder to read.

Examples

With Two Spaces: Bob arrived to the meeting late.  At the meeting we discussed the budget.  

Without Two Spaces: Bob arrived to the meeting late. At the meeting we discussed the budget.  

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Topics: grammar

25 Writing Topics that Weren’t Popular a Decade Ago

Posted by Kelly Creighton   Jun 14, 2018 7:30:00 AM

It’s hard to believe that the dawn of a new century was almost two decades ago. And since then, we’ve experienced life with smartphones and smart devices, as well as apps and platforms that have changed the way we work and live.  

What we write about has changed too, along with the new experiences that technological advances have brought us. Here’s a list of twenty-five topics (in alphabetical order) that weren’t popular to write about a decade ago, even though now it seems as if we receive content and information about them daily.

1. Apps & App Development

Smartphone applications are now at the center of a majority of what we do every day. We use them for GPS navigation, to access our email, to read books and articles, to message our friends and family members, to play games, etc. And there is a lot of information being written about how to design and develop apps, how to use and download apps, and how to market and sell them.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence isn’t just for lifelike robots these days. It’s also used for translating languages, speech recognition, chatbots, gaming, and so many other things that are integral to what we do every single day. And writing about artificial intelligence is no longer just science fiction.

3. Automation

In the past decade we’ve automated so many things and have invented things like automated communications and emails, automated billing and payments, driverless cars, automated software updates, and so on. In a world where people are always on the go, automation has become key and people love receiving information about it.

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Topics: writing topics

7 Benefits of Creative Writing Exercises

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Jun 8, 2018 7:30:00 AM

Grammar and informational or persuasive essay exercises aren’t the only important exercises writers need to do to hone their skills and craft.

Creative writing exercises also offer benefits to writers that are often overlooked and undervalued, especially in a world that’s shifting toward regimented standardized tests and data-driven work.

Here are seven benefits of completing creative writing exercises on a regular basis.

1. Building Confidence

When writing creatively, you’re engaging in an exercise that will allow you to truly develop your own voice and perspective without consequential limitations. You get a better opportunity to explore and express how you feel about topics, perspectives, philosophies, characters, etc. And this will allow you to feel more comfortable and confident when asserting your opinions and perspectives in other things you write, too.

Writers who don’t write creatively might worry about coming across as an authority or reliable source. By forgetting to insert their own take on the subjects that they’re writing about, they unintentionally end up losing their voice and sound like drones spouting off data. As a result, they lose out on utilizing their unique voice and coming across as an expert with real-world and firsthand experience.  

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Topics: writing techniques

How and Why You Should Copyright Your Written Work in the Internet Age

Posted by Conni Eversull   May 24, 2018 7:30:00 AM

If you consider yourself a writer or have ever published or shared anything online that you’ve written and are truly proud of, you’ve probably asked yourself whether you should copyright it or not. And you’ve probably wondered how to do that and asked yourself whether copyrighting your written work is still important in the Internet age.  

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Topics: copyright

What Type of Writer Are You – Quiz Answers

Posted by Kelly Creighton   May 17, 2018 7:30:00 AM

If you were able to take last week’s quiz, it’s time to see your results! And if you haven’t taken the quiz yet, you can do so now by clicking on this link.

Were you right about what type of writer you think you are? Did you learn something new about yourself and how you approach your writing? There is a possibility that you could have prominent traits of more than one type of writer. Check out the results below and let us know what you discovered in the comments below.

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Topics: writing quiz

QUIZ: What Type of Writer Are You?

Posted by Kelly Creighton   May 10, 2018 7:30:00 AM

As a writer, it’s easy to get lost in your work and the entire writing process. It can be exciting and fun at times, and painful or nerve-racking at other times. And the writing process isn’t the same for every writer; each writer has his or her unique way of approaching what he or she does best.

This (non-scientific) quiz will help you think about your writing style and process, and what makes you unique as a writer.

So, what type of writer are you?

Take the quiz below. Select the answers that best resemble you, your interests and personality, and your writing style and aspirations. Keep a tally of your answers throughout the quiz so you can get accurate results once you’re done with the quiz. You may find that you have attributes of more than one type of writer, and that’s okay!

Come back next week to get your results.

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Topics: quiz, writing quiz

Will Cursive Handwriting Become Obsolete? Does It Matter?

Posted by Conni Eversull   May 3, 2018 7:30:00 AM

A recent state law in Indiana was passed a few weeks ago to allow cursive handwriting to be taught in schools. Although not a mandatory subject, the law codified cursive handwriting as an “optional” subject.

Many educators and professionals think that reading and writing in cursive no longer has real merit or relevance. In an age of ever-changing technology with smartphones, tablets, and laptops, why would we need to learn and practice cursive handwriting? Even our signatures are electronic-based nowadays, with computerized chips and fingerprints.

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Topics: cursive writing

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