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Summer 2009 Volume 5 Issue 3

The Write Stuff

Summer 2009  Volume 5 Issue 3

Grammatical Errors to Avoid

I’m amazed when people who work so hard to develop a professional image fail to realize that poor writing, and silly grammar errors in particular, can really turn off potential clients. Here are a few of the most prevalent problems I see in my editing work.

There, Their and They’re
There is correct when referring to a place or used as a pronoun.

  • Wrigley Field is over there.
  • There must be better baseball ahead for the Cubs.

Their is used to denote possession.

  • The Cubs seem to have lost their ability to hit.

They’re is a contraction of they are.

  • Cubs fans: they’re the most loyal in all of sports.

Your and You’re

Your always denotes possession, while you’re is a contraction of you are. Here are two things we Cubs fans hear often:

  • Your team really stinks.
  • I can’t believe you’re still a Cubs fan.

It’s and Its

It’s is a contraction of it is or it has.

  • It’s always fun to go to Wrigley Field.
  • It’s been a trying season so far.

Its always denotes possession.

  • The team seems to have lost its way.

Affect and Effect

Affect is a verb, while effect is a noun.

  • I hope the All-Star Break has a positive effect on the Cubs.
  • Injuries may affect the Cubs’ ability to compete.

None of this is rocket science, but it seems that some of you have forgotten these grammar-school lessons, or become lazy in your writing. Whatever the case, if you want to end up in the “win column,” you need to swing for the fences in everything you do, including the way you present yourself or your company in writing.

If you need a talented, responsive and economical writing or editing resource, please think of me. Learn more at or call (619) 291-4645 to discuss your needs.

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