BuzzRocket's Blog

Grammar lessons

We’ll take a compliment anyway we can get it. Today’s installment comes from Chicago blogger Kelly Ryan O’brien via her new (quite cool) blog Idols and Egos, calling our own Gretchen Schneider a “Grammar Nazi” and “bitchy.” Please: We’ve heard worse.

We’ve written a few blogs about business writing and grammar. Perhaps it’s time for a refresher course.

It’s our job. We worship the Associated Press Stylebook like it’s the second coming of Christ. We are, after all, the nerds behind your words.

She wrote what? (Grammar Series – Part 1)

You’re wondering why people aren’t taking you seriously around the office. You show up on time, meet deadlines, have great ideas, dress professionally…so, what’s the deal? It could be that last update you posted on your LinkedIn page: “I’d like to thank every one for there hard work…Your the best team ever!” Yikes. Not only do you look like an idiot for those grammatical errors, but so does the company you have listed as your employer.

With more and more people professionally communicating via social networks (most without the crutch of spell check), it’s important to review a few common spelling/grammar errors. We’re trying to keep it simple with the following format: Word. Usage. Example. If you’d like specific definitions, please visit Merriam Webster Online.

There, their, they’re
There: PLACE. Example: Put the file over there. EXCLAMATION. Example: There you go!
Their: POSSESSION. Example: That file is theirs.
They’re: CONTRACTION of “They are.” Example: They’re proud of the file.
“They’re putting that file of theirs over there.” Get it?

It’s, its
It’s: CONTRACTION of “It is” or “it has.” Example: It’s a gorgeous day.
Its: POSSESSION. Examples: Every dog has its day. That dog dropped its bone.

Then, than
Then: TIME. Example: Don has a meeting with Rick at 11 then they are going to lunch.
Than: COMPARISION. Example: I’d rather meet in my office than yours.

Yours, your’s
Yours: POSSESSION. Example: My pen is broken; can I use yours?
Your’s: DOESN’T EXIST! Stop using it immediately.

There are many more errors we could name, but this post can only go so long, so consider this “Part 1” of a grammar series.

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