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Common Mistakes When Writing for the Internet
As I 'surf the net' I see many minor errors in spelling, grammar and the use of punctuation. Facebook and other social sites aside where it seems a different language is used entirely, there are some common mistakes made by writers that can detract from the online reading experience. My grammar is far from perfect so best left for the experts, but basic spelling, use of punctuation and proofreading is as familiar to me as the family pet.
You Are Your Own Editor
One thing to remember about writing for the Internet is that unless you use an editor, you are the editor. By all means, type as fast as you can to get your words and creative juices flowing. Before you finish that blog post or hit the publish button, read your work and make any necessary corrections then read it again. This will give a polished look to your finished piece.
Regardless of whether you ever hope to make money from writing or are simply writing for pleasure, someone will read your work if you are writing online. At least we hope someone will read our masterpiece. There is always more chance of someone reading past the first paragraph if it is free from errors.
List of Common Mistakes
Overuse of exclamation points!!!
Incorrect use of ellipses........
How many questions marks???
"Using the correct quotations marks has always caused problems for the author", he said.
Check the correct uses on the left.
Resources for Improving your English Writing
Read What Others Have to Say About Spelling Mistakes
- Does it bug the crap out of you, like it does me, that many of your fellow hubbers can't spell?
Listing of the answers to the question: Does it bug the crap out of you, like it does me, that many of your fellow hubbers can't spell?
Common Punctuation Mistakes
Exclamation points can over emphasise a sentence and detract from the quality of the writing. Even one exclamation point may be one too many. Look carefully at what you are trying to say and use adjectives and adverbs to bring out the emotion behind the words. If you feel you do need more than the words themselves then one exclamation point will do the trick.
Ellipses (the plural of ellipsis) are those leading dots that leave the reader waiting for the next thought. Too many full stops and you might lose the reader. Three does the job perfectly...
Question marks - one is always enough.
Should the full stop come before or after quotation marks? All additional punctuation comes before the closing quotation mark. "As I was saying, if you need to use extra commas or fullstops, they belong before the closing quotations marks."
Incorrect use of apostrophe
There are two reasons for using the apostrophe. The first is to let the reader know there is one or more letters missing. The second is to claim ownership.
Show omission of one or more letters
- do not – don’t
- cannot – can’t
- will not – won’t
- did not – didn’t
- it is – it’s
- it has - it's
- dog’s bone – where there is only one dog with a bone
- dogs’ bones – more than one dog with many bones
- dog’s bones – still only one dog but with more than one bone
It’s difficult not to confuse this one. Even if there is ownership when referring to the dog and its bone there is no need for the apostrophe.
PLEASE STOP SHOUTING AT ME
The use of capital letters is known as shouting and is best used sparingly to emphasise a point.
- Writing Tips and the use of Capital Letters - Please Stop Shouting at Me - Using Caps Lock
Writing in capital letters or using the Caps Lock key has long been an accepted form of placing emphasis on a word or phrase. In other words, the writer is shouting at the reader. English writing tips would suggest this is rude when overused.
Common Spelling Mistakes
Desert or dessert
"I lived in the desert for several years where an ice cold dessert was always appreciated."
Should of or should have (also applies to could and would)
"Perhaps we should have looked at moving to the coast years ago."
Your or you’re
"Your new shoes let me know you're ready for stepping out."
Some Mistakes Are Hard to Spot
It would give me great pleasure to say everything I have ever written online is perfect in every way. The reality is that some mistakes are hard to spot, first, second and even third time round. My aim is to produce quality content so I am more than happy to be corrected on any of my writing mistakes.
If you can think of other common mistakes when writing for the Internet not mentioned here, please leave a comment so I can update the list at a later date.
Happy writing and reading online!
Copyright © 2011 Karen Wilton