grammar time: 3 quick tips for better writing

Tips for better writing | Dotted Design One of the things that hurts my brain the most when scanning my social media feeds or reading blog posts is seeing bad or just plain wrong grammar. An easy way to make yourself or your business look professional is using correct grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.

I may be a designer, but I also consider myself a stickler for good writing. While I always do a quick read-through of copy when I’m working on a design project, I would love to have some of the common mistakes I see disappear! Rather than continue to have *headdesk moments, I’m starting a little series of quick grammar and language tips to make you a better writer. Here are my first three:

  1. apart  vs. a part apart = not together, separated a part = participant, an element of Wrong: I’m so glad to be apart of this roundup! Right: I was sad that my sister and I were apart on Thanksgiving. Wrong: It’s hard to be a part from my goldfish during the day. Right: I want to be a part of the next conference. How do I remember? If the word “of” follows it, then it is most likely going to be two words. It’s funny because these two versions are almost opposites – a good reason not to mix up their use! .
  2. Plural S vs. Possessive S cats = more than one cat cat’s = something belongs to the cat Wrong: I love all the pineapple’s in this room. Right: The avocado's color is so lovely. Wrong: This rooms vibe is so calming. Right: I’m bringing many hats to the party. How do I remember? Generally speaking, if you are indicating there is more than one of something, don’t use an apostrophe. If I see one more billboard with an apostrophe for a word that is meant to be plural, I am going to lose it. Please stop, people! .
  3. My vs. I’s my = something belongs to me I’s = NEVER correct Wrong: I can’t wait to share Walter and I’s new living room. Right: I can’t wait to share Walter and my living room. How do I remember: This one is easy – never use “I’s” in a sentence when referring to yourself. That’s why the article “my” was invented! I usually see this in situations where one is saying “so-and-so and I’s…” so another check is to remove the other person and see if it makes sense. “I’s house is for sale” doesn’t make sense, so why would you say, “Bob and I’s house is for sale”?

What are some of your grammar pet peeves? Or, are there any grammar usage questions you’ve been wondering about? I’d love to include it in my next grammar post. Yay for better writing!

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grammarLaura Huebner