Why do so many pretty bloggers have such ugly grammar?

I recently asked this question on Twitter and Facebook, because I’m tired of grown women who (despite their external loveliness), can’t write a lick without messing something up.  I wish it didn’t matter, but it does. Pretty bloggers with ugly grammar are kind of like a ding in your fresh manicure: You can smooth it over, but the flaw—and your cognizance of it—still remains.

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This isn’t about accidentally omitting a word or the occasional typ0; those things happen, sometimes even after you’ve proofread a few times. I’m talking about clear and total ignorance, or an all-out assault on the English language: the apostrophe-s-to-show-plurality, where’s-it-at, me-and-my-girl mistakes that make any fashion blogger/grammarian cringe to the depths of her Valentino-loving soul.

I think Steph of Odyssey summed it up best:  “There is no excuse for poor grammar in one’s native language.”

Common Grammar Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Consider this my grammar PSA for 2013. I could rewrite what thousands of others have already covered ad nauseum, but this  Copyblogger infographic does the job:

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

How about you? Do you notice grammar issues? Do you care?

38 comments

  1. Great post and very clear. I’m okay with most of it, but I still can’t get effect/affect clear. So I avoid them!

    Also, in Kindergarten, I learned that the principal is your “pal.” So that’s how I remember that one.

  2. I know I’ve probably fallen victim to a few of these on occasion. The other day I was reading an article I found online from a British university about the proper use of semi colons. I found out I had been using them incorrectly. I’ve been nervous writing this comment now in case I get judged, lol :-s.a

  3. I love this!! I guess they just think it’s all about the pretty pictures and that’s it. This should totally be part of every blogger conference. 🙂

  4. I agree, and I know that we all have probably made the occasional comma error here and there. However, there’s no excuse for slacking on the rudimentary knowledge of grammar/spelling, i.e., “your or you’re,” etc. I do notice them as I read blogs and also social networks. In my experience, proofing even one’s most shortest post is essential. I also try my best to read between the lines if it’s in another language, as I have to do that a lot for work since most things are written in 4 other languages. Great post V!

  5. My biggest nemesis is Twitter. I hate how you can’t edit tweets. Should you just delete and then repost? But then you’re posting twice? Won’t that annoy people?

    As far as blog posts go, I always try to make my shorter. My biggest issue with blogging is that I always DREAM about writing a post three days in advance and then editing it for the next 3 days before it goes public. However, that’s far from what happens. My biggest blogging issue with grammar is mostly not catching typos and subject/verb agreement that I miss during editing.

    And of course I care! Unfortunately there’s no way to get around the Twitter grammar issue, but with blogging, planning definitely eliminates most errors. Most of us don’t have copywriters like the pros do. The best we can do is be our own editors and take our time.

  6. Oooh, I know I’m guilty of “then” and “than.” I always let intuition guide me, but I’m pretty sure there are times I get them backwards. (So silly! Yet, similarly, I always. ALWAYS. misspell cabinet.)

    Knowing our writing flaws and weaknesses helps us to become better writers. Again, I can’t get behind bloggers who feel the writing component of blogging lacks value. I really can’t.

  7. Thank you so much for this post. All of these are my biggest grammar pet peeves — especially “could of, would of, should of” and its versus it’s. Maybe it’s because I went to journalism school (and have been writing since I was in kindergarten), but I just think that if you claim to be a writer, you should know how to WRITE.

  8. Thank you for this post, I love it! I think I’m pretty good at not making the mistakes listed above. But as I am not a native speaker of English, I think I can get away with a mistake or two. 🙂

    -Alice

  9. Haha, THANK YOU for this post. I am so big on correct grammar…it annoys me to see these great quotes on Pinterest that totally lose effect on me because it will say “loose” in place of “lose”, etc…and it takes all of my being not to post a comment on it correcting it and sound like a bitch. Anyway, I know all of these rules and have for a long time. LOL. Again, thanks for this…maybe it will save me some headache if some of the bloggers I lovingly follow read it. xoxo

  10. I’m not much of a writer but I try. I bought a book on writing and grammar to help me. Of course I have pet peeves like the incorrect use of there, their and they’re, but I know I make many grammar mistakes! Maybe I should go back to school.

  11. Poor grammar is one of my pet peeves. However, V, I can bet that the bloggers you are addressing won’t bother to read through these rules and correct themselves. I find that most of the time, people who use bad grammar aren’t willing to improve themselves. Sad, but true.

  12. If only this were a problem with pretty bloggers. Back when I transcribed and proofread ad transcripts, let’s just say “loose” was used a bit too loosely, as it were. The fact this pops up on Tumblr as well… I think this might be a bigger problem overall. I don’t know how this happened — is our education system that bad — but it would be nice if it stopped.

  13. Glad you are fighting the good fight on this and that you put these rules up – some are worth reviewing as I know that some of these are ones I always forget and find myself having to double check all the time. I agree that grammar matters! With spelling and grammar checkers available it is so easy to check your work. This poor attention to correct spelling and grammar is not just in blogs either! At work I see supposedly professional people publishing work for wider distribution with mistakes that take the shine right off what they’ve produced. It leaves a bad impression of their capabilities. It’s just like turning up for work dressed inappropriately. You’ll be judged as being sloppy and inaccurate no matter what the underlying quality of your work might be.

  14. Oh no, I hope I am not one of the bloggers that make you cringe, haha.
    I think I am pretty good with most….but then you threw in then and than and I am almost certain I use those improperly…always best intentions and then I am writing my post with two little guys tugging at my legs and I just have to “get it done”.
    anyway…bookmarking this if I ever need a quick reference:)
    C

  15. I’m with you and Stephanie. While I’ll intentionally disregard rules of grammar for literary effect on occasion, I do believe that proper use of grammar is important in establishing and maintaining a professional image.

  16. Grammar absolutely matters! I agree with you- I’m not so bothered by little typos here and there because that happens to everyone. I am bothered when proper grammar is completely disregarded. I still enjoy reading through blog posts (maybe I’m in the minority now?) and poor grammar is a total turn-off. I also cringe when I make a mistake when I tweet or post on Facebook too quickly and I can’t edit it!

  17. Great post as always V, typos are irritating but I tend cringe more than anything. I find that I nearly always notice spelling errors or typos i’ve done after i’ve posted, but gone back to correct… tut tut tut!
    Hope all is well with you lovely!
    x.o.x.o

  18. If I encounter a blog sprinkled with bad grammar, I tend to skim it in hopes of finding the information I need, or I leave quickly. Most of my blog exploration time is spent with the blogs in my sidebar: folks whose pictures I like to look at, and whose writing I like to read. I know the bad grammar is out there, but it doesn’t stress me out much, because I keep it out of my sphere.

  19. My mum was an absolute stickler for grammar! Books I have received under the guise of birthday presents included: Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Strunk & White’s Elements of Style. What I find funny is that Word auto-correct suggestions always make my sentences sound as though they were written in hillbilly, not English. Great post!

  20. Oh, that’s my name! I totally remember when I commented on this post on FB. I think I’m pretty darn good at following these grammatical rules. The only one I use the wrong way–and on purpose because I enjoy it–is “literally” because it’s fun!

    Great post though. Let’s hope pretty fashion bloggers take it to heart.

  21. Seriously, if they offered a grammar workshop (an entire writing section) at one of the blog conferences this year, I would move mountains to find the money to go. There is always so much focus on the technical side of blogging and really not enough on the writing aspect of it. Most of us suck at grammar because we honestly do not know or remember the rules.

    BTW, is this Thesis? It looks great!

  22. Yes! I’m glad that a blogger wrote about this annoying topic. Whenever I see one of my facebook friends using bad grammar, I can’t help but think a tiny bit less of them. There is a delete and edit option so please, use it.

  23. Thanx for this infographic, thats very helpful! Even I have never made one of this mistakes =)
    Actually english is not my native language, so I have my own list of mistakes =(
    But I think the poor grammar very annoying, because sometime I see some new word in blog an try to translate but I can’t because of misspelling and that really piss me off.

  24. Oh dear it really drives me nuts too. And English isn’t my native language either but in this day and age, the adage ‘Google is your friend’ rings so true : a simple spell check is only a click away!

    xoxo

  25. Probably, I make some grammar mistakes because my mother tongue is Slavonic language. But I’m doing my best to avoid these mistakes, I ale+ways think twice about – how to make the good sentence which contains the sense. Blogging helped me a lot to improve my knowledge of English language.
    P.S. Don+t be surprised if you see some grammar mistake in this comment!
    Wink 😉
    Anika

  26. I’d like to think the grammar on my site is okay, but I know grammatical errors happen when I comment: thinking faster than I can type, late at night, etc… I’m guilty of using phrases more than complete sentences and overuse of “…”

  27. I am really thankful for such a great write-up about grammatical mistakes. I am a new blogger and just started my own blogging. But i am getting a lots of observation about grammatical mistakes in my Content. After reading this article, definitely it will help me to reduce my writing error. Thanks once again.

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