Throughout high school and college, we were all taught to write under a certain set of formal grammar rules. Don’t start sentences with “and,” don’t end sentences with prepositions, and so on. However, when you’re in the content marketing business, your audience is comprised of normal, everyday people; not necessarily teachers and college professors. Therefore, your content should flow naturally and make sense to your target audience without sounding too formal, uptight, and boring enough to turn away potential leads. Plus, depending on your industry, you can be more creative with blogging, which allows you more freedom with grammar as long as your content makes sense.
Here are five popular grammar myths laid to rest that you no longer have to worry about!
Myth #1: Never end sentences with prepositions
“That’s the silliest thing I ever heard of.” “She has a lot to be thankful for.” These are examples of sentences that sound grammatically normal to the ear, but your English professor would have marked these “errors” in red. If your sentences sound normal if they were to be used in general conversation, then it’s perfectly acceptable to include them in your writing. If we changed, “That’s the silliest thing I ever heard of” with “That’s the silliest thing of which I’ve ever heard,” then you may come across sounding too stiff and formal, and not very fun.
Myth #2: “e.g.” and “i.e.” are one and the same
If you commonly mix up these terms, don’t worry — many people do. Try to remember that “e.g.” is short for “example given” or “for example,” whereas “i.e.” means, “in other words.” The easiest way to remember the difference between the two terms is “e.g” starts with an “e” just like “example,” and “i.e.” begins with an “i” for “in other words.”
Myth #3: Always use “a” before words that begin with consonants, and “an” before words that begin with vowels
Whether you use “a” or “an” should always depend on what the word that follows it sounds like phonetically. For example, since the “h” in “herb” is normally silent, you would precede the word with “an,” such as, “I am going to take an herbal supplement.” When in doubt with whether to use “a” or “an,” say the sentence out loud before writing it down.
Myth #4: “Irregardless” is not a real word
Irregardless is actually a valid word, and any dictionary you use will reveal that the word means “regardless.” Still, because of the word’s negative reputation, you may just want to leave it out of your writing completely to avoid having people frown on you for using it in your content.
Myth #5: Never start sentences with “and,” “or,” or “but”
Just like starting sentences with prepositions are sometimes acceptable, so is starting sentences with conjunctions such as “and.” But, consider whether your placement of the conjunction would work just as well without it, or see if you can connect the sentence with the previous sentence and still make it sound good. Whatever the case may be, choose the style that sounds and reads best.
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