As a writer, I need to be particularly careful when it comes to things like spelling and grammar. Even if I hire ghost writers I cannot afford to let my guard down. After all, how can I publish an article about spelling and grammar and expect people to take me seriously if that article is full of errors? People who write regularly can make just as many errors as the next person can. When you are racing to meet deadlines, for example, it can be very tempting to skip proofreading before you submit work for publication.
English is often considered to be a lot easier than many other languages, but in truth, it is a very complex language. After all, it has more words than any other language, and the number of words grows by more than 4000 words every year. English grammar can also be very challenging even if English is your first language.
Quite often when I am writing an article I find myself looking at a particular sentence and thinking, is my sentence correct? The frustrating thing is, I often get even more uncertain the longer I stare at the sentence.
Spell Checkers & Grammar Checkers: If you are using a program like Microsoft Word, don’t assume it will pick up on all errors because it really won’t. It does quite a good job at detecting spelling errors, but it’s not very good at detecting grammatical errors.
Does It Really Matter?
Does it really matter if your writing is free of any spelling errors? Does it matter if your sentences are grammatically incorrect? In some cases, it is not really a big issue. I am sure your friends won’t even give it a second thought if your spelling is atrocious, and neither would anyone else who is close to you. In a more official environment, poor spelling and poor grammar can cause you a lot of problems.
If you write your own content for your website, poor spelling and/or poor grammar can and probably will have a negative impact on credibility. In other words, it is going to affect the way in which people see you.
Another example would be if you are a freelance writer. Clients will be paying you to write for them and they will expect your work to be grammatically correct and free of spelling errors. If you fail them they simply won’t hire you again, and of course, they might very well leave negative feedback which result in you missing out on a huge amount of work.
Common Errors Many People Make
A very common mistake which many writers make involves the phrase, “with regards to”, or “in regards to”. Both of these phrases are grammatically incorrect. The correct use of these phrases would be, “with regard to”, and “in regard to”.
Another example of a common grammatical error involves the incorrect use of the words “I and me”. Let us take a look at an example:
“When you have completed the monthly expenditure report, please forward a copy to Paul and I“.
While it may not necessarily sound too bad if you read it out aloud, it is nonetheless incorrect. Try removing “Paul” from the sentence and then read it again. I bet it sounds quite silly now. The correct way would be:
“When you have completed the monthly expenditure report, please forward a copy to Paul and me“.
I have only mentioned two common grammatical errors, but there are lots more, and many people continue making the same mistakes day in and day out because they are simply not even aware of it.
Spelling & Grammar Checkers
There are many online grammar checkers which one can use in order to check your written work for grammatical errors, and virtually all of them will also check for spelling errors. Some of these sites are free to use while others charge a monthly or yearly subscription.
It is important to remember that no software is bullet proof. In other words, some errors can still slip through, but if you are using a well-established checker, it will typically only miss grammatical errors that most human readers would never spot in the first place.
Happy writing, and look out for those common errors.