“You might believe the past tense of the verb lead is lead, but that’s not how things are,” says Marko Ticak in the grammarly blog. (Led is the past tense of lead.) Big deal, you’re thinking… Yes, it is. As a blog content writing trainer, I know the truth of author Joanne Adams’ words: Pay attention to proper spelling and grammar, Adams says, and “people who read your writing will know, without a sliver of doubt, that you are somebody who really knows their $h*t”.
At Say It For You, my favorite recommendation to business owners and the freelance blog content writers they hire to help bring their message to their customers is simply this: Dress your blog in its best. Prevent blog content writing “wardrobe malfunctions” such as grammar errors, run-on sentences, and spelling errors. Perhaps it’s true that most readers won’t notice errors, but business owners or practitioner ought to ask themselves a simple question: “Can I afford to have even one potential customer noticing my lack of care?”
Just to be sure you know your $h*t, Adams offers a list of infinitives and their proper past tense forms (along the lines of “lead/led”):
- lie/lay (another very common mistake)
Other bothersome twosomes often confused include:
- advice (the noun – what you give or receive) and advise (the verb)
- imply (the speaker or writer does this)/ infer (the listener or reader does this)
- lose (can’t seem to find) and loose (not tight enough)
One expression to erase from your mind and your writing, Adams advises, is “a lot”. It’s OK to use “a lot”, but don’t smoosh the words together.
I’ll admit that, over the years, I’ve been accused of being a “grammar Nazi”, so you can imagine why I identify with the material in Joanne Adams’ book. But, really, all content writers should. Grammar mistakes are very much like the much-publicized TV star wardrobe mishaps – they call attention away from the kind of impression we intend to make on behalf of our businesses or professional practices.
In blogging for business, grammar affects the effect!