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The Write Stuff July 2019 Volume 15 Issue 7

Sillies for Summer — Part 2

It might be the most relaxing season, but you don’t want to relax your writing efforts over the summer. Here are more basic grammar mistakes that will make you look silly — now and at any time of year. We’ll finish up this three-part series next month.

  • Loose and Lose. Loose means to release something from restraints and set it free. Losemeans to be deprived of something. Thus, your pants may be so loose that you could lose them.
  • Me, Myself and I. Choose between me and I by removing the other person — or dog — from the sentence, e.g., I’m so thankful when people are gracious to Cubbie and me. Remove “Cubbie,” and it’s clear I wouldn’t work. As for myself, it belongs only in a phrase like “I thought to myself.”
  • Improper Apostrophe Use. Apostrophes are used in contractions — can’t, won’t, etc. — and to show possession — Cubbie’s toys are all over the house.
  • Could Of, Would Of, Should Of. You can use could have, would have or should have, or their contractions — could’ve, would’ve or should’ve — but never use “of” after these words, even though it sounds like they end in it when spoken.
  • Compliment and Complement. “Your dog is so cute” is a compliment. Use the “e” form when you’re referring to something that completes or brings to perfection, e.g., our new staff members complement our existing team.

I hope this is helpful. Writing for business is certainly no laughing matter.

Confidence Wins

Over the past 15 years, I’ve edited my fair share of proposals, and it always surprises me when writers use would rather than will. The former doesn’t make nearly as strong a statement as the latter. Consider these two options:

  • As your supplier, we would ensure you always have the materials you need.
  • As your supplier, we will ensure you always have the materials you need.
Subtle difference, right? But the will sentence evokes more confidence — which could be the difference between winning the contract and being an also-ran.

Be Original

Did you see the article I posted on LinkedIn regarding stealing website copy? It’s a no-no that will damage your brand and could put your site at risk. A client found copy I wrote stolen six times — locally and around the world — and managed to address each instance. Learn how he did that and why you should always create original copy by reading the article here.

Published On: July 15th, 2019 / Categories: 2019 /

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