We’re not always so lucky as to be able to write about compelling and interesting topics. In fact, most of the time our topics aren’t exactly inclined to get the blood pumping. But our writing shouldn’t have to reflect that. With the intention of getting lots of people to read what we write, we want to make it a good experience for them.
Just imagine that you’re the one who’s reading. Would you read until the end, or would you stop in the middle of the first paragraph thinking it’s too boring to deserve your time?
Of course you want to stay entertained (if only somewhat). So, here are a few tips to add a bit of life to writing subject matter that can be dreary at best.
Make it sound more human.
It’s a good habit to remind ourselves that we’re human beings interacting with other human beings. Funny how we tend to overlook that fact, isn’t it? If the context allows for it, write the way you would talk to someone. And not just anyone — someone whom you enjoy having a conversation with. Writing is, after all, a conversation. Use more contractions. Keep it casual. Keep it simple. And think of how you could structure a sentence in a way that would make someone smile.
Play with tone.
Just because you’re writing about something boring doesn’t mean it has to sound boring. Unless you’re restricted to a specific tone (pertaining to a brand’s voice), try to colour outside the lines, so to speak. Pretend you’re writing in another dialect or accent. Instead of using third-person narrative, switch to first-person by using words like I, we, us, etc. Just be careful not to go overboard with it. But you’ll never know what overboard is until you start experimenting.
Explore the wonders of verbiage.
The English language has the most abundant vocabulary of any other spoken or written language — and by a long shot. So it’s not really an acceptable excuse to say you can’t find the right word for something. There are plenty of words to choose from. All have their own intricacies and undertones. And that can work to your advantage. So try to use some new words in your everyday vernacular. It’s a great way to add dynamic to writing.
Any of these tips should help you get the ball rolling. Keep in mind not to overthink it. Just keep it simple and try to have fun with it. Writing is a form of art. Treat it as such, and you’ll end up with pieces you’re proud to show off.
Someone is reading your company blog, and they see your reference to an accomplishment from last year. They want to learn more about it, as it piques their interest, so they click on the embedded link. To their disappointment, the link they clicked is no longer available and they give up on the subject entirely.
That’s all it takes for someone to turn away. And you certainly don’t want that!
Fact checking is a very important component of editing that deserves your attention. Properly and accurately presented information is a responsibility of both the publisher and the editor in question.
You want to ensure quality of information and research, as it’s a reflection of your business. The last thing you want is someone clicking on a link that doesn’t work, or coming across information that is put in the wrong context. You want to keep your credibility at its absolute highest.
When dealing with things like fine print, numbers, links and legal particulars, it’s easy to overlook a detail. And that detail can cost you more than you think. A second and third set of eyes is absolutely essential when checking facts.
You want that link to take your reader to exactly where they expect to go. You want all your numbers to add up. You want your prospective customers and clients to have the right address so they can find you.
Editors check far more than just your spelling and grammar (also important things to check). Don’t neglect the details — entrust a professional to check the facts.
When plurals are involved, people often get confused as to how they should use apostrophes. That’s just it — you don’t even need to use them half the time.
There are three ways to present plurals, not limited to the elusive apostrophe + s combo:
1) Before the s
2) After the s
3) Not at all
Example: games vs. game’s vs. games’
So, here is a breakdown of each situation so you know once and for all how to put an apostrophe + s in an agreeable union.
Before the s
An apostrophe before the s is used either to replace a vowel, or to show possession.
To replace a vowel, it would be used in situations like these:
It is becomes it’s, how is becomes how’s, who is becomes who’s.
To show possession, it looks like this:
The game’s referee made a bad call.
They were invited to Brad’s party.
The bank’s line-up was too long to wait in.
After the s
An apostrophe is used after the s to show possession of a plural entity, or of a name that ends in s.
The games’ scorekeepers were tired that day.
The Smiths’ album was released a day early.
The kids’ feet were stained from the grass.
Not at all
This one is very commonly misused. Just an s is added when a noun is pluralized. This also applies to dates and acronyms. So, for example, when one game becomes two games and when you refer to the 90s or the SATs.
The games of the 1960s made a huge impact.
She studied hard for the LSATs.
She adopted two cats this weekend.
There you have it. We hope that cleared things up. Now your Ss shouldn’t have to fear the apostrophe.
Not only does adding an e at the end of a word change the pronunciation in many cases, it also changes the meaning of the word entirely. This is an all-too-common mistake that we thought was worth bringing attention to. This is also a case where autocorrect doesn’t have your back. Because, with or without an e, these words aren’t misspelled. So it’s up to you to know the differences. And we’re here to show you.
To illustrate these differences, the following examples will be used to demonstrate the impact of adding an e:
breath vs. breathe
suit vs. suite
sever vs. severe
heroin vs. heroine
As far as pronunciation goes (except in heroin/heroine), the words with an e at the end use the long e sound (as in tree or free). So, in this case, breath rhymes with death whereas breathe has the long E sound, as in steed.
Suite sounds like sweet whereas suit rhymes with boot.
Sever rhymes with never, and severe rhymes with fear.
Now to distinguish the meanings:
Breath is a noun, referring to an inhalation. She took a deep breath before proceeding to give her speech.
Breathe is a verb, referring to the action of taking breaths. Don’t forget to breathe in between sit-ups.
Suit refers to the tailored set of clothes (comprised of pants, a vest and jacket). He wore his power suit to the meeting.
Suite is an individual unit within a set of things grouped together, like a hotel suite or apartment suite. He ordered the presidential suite for his honeymoon.
Sever is a verb, meaning to completely divide or slice something off. The head was severed from the body.
Severe is an adjective that describes something very intense or harsh. She was in severe pain after her car accident.
These two are definitely not to be confused. Heroin refers to the highly addictive opiate drug, whereas heroine refers to a female hero. Be extra careful when making this distinction.
Although e is the most commonly occurring letter in the English language, it’s not to be overlooked. Watch your e usage and dodge those pesky typos.