Tip #4 – Be Grammatically Correct (but break the rules…sometimes)
Let’s face it…English grammar rules could be daunting at times because there are just so many of them!
Most people will do some form of web writing in their lifetime, including you. So why not aspire to write well? When you decide to pen your next web writing project, avoid these three basic English grammar “don’ts:”
#1: Run-on Sentences. Not at all cool. Avoid them!
#2: Mistakes in Apostrophe Uses. They don’t belong. Drop them!
#3: Subject/Verb Agreement. They don’t always agree. Make them!
Yes, we all know these rules. But, there are countless websites, blogs and other online marketing content lost in cyberspace. A major problem is that web designers are not web writers. So designers often spend a lot of time designing a website, for example, and the content writing becomes an afterthought. I am sure you have seen attractive websites with poorly written content. No…I am not suggesting learning all of the rules, because (get this) you can break them! Oh yeah.
Break the Rules
Sometime in our early academic life, we learned not start sentences with and, but and because. But, well-positioned, could help improve the flow and conversational tone of your web writing. And, that’s one of the key objectives when writing for the web; creating conversations with which your web readers can engage. Because, you want your web readers to get your point, quickly.
Who said you cannot write using f-words (fragments), or end sentences with p-words (prepositions)? In web-writing you surely can. Especially if their use adds clarity to your writing. Lastly, contrary to what we have learnt in the past, a paragraph can be one sentence only.
Newsflash – Do not rely solely on your word processor for editing your web writing! I remember doing a presentation to a client a few moons ago. When I got to one of the slides that I had read, re-read, proofread, edited… again and again, I noticed the word pubic instead of public. (I died a million deaths that day. What resurrected me? We won the account…and I kept my job!)
Whether you decide to break grammar rules or not, as Handley states in her book Everybody Writes, “…be rabid about readability.” And readability comes when web readers can easily consume and understand your work because of its excellent grammar and syntax.
Next Post: Lists and tables make a web reader’s life as easy as 1-2-3! Find out how in my next post. Happy Reading!