04 Apr Grammar Mistakes That Can Undermine Your Marketing
Nothing can undermine customers’ and clients’ trust in your company and brand quite like marketing grammar mistakes. Why tarnish your good name with poor comma choices or passive voice? It’s not just grammar nerds that notice mistakes. Anyone can trip up on poorly-written sentences and clunky grammar. Below we will look at some of the most common grammar mistakes and illustrate the point with memes and cartoons to help you remember them!
Passive voice happens when the object of a sentence is put at the beginning of a sentence instead of at the end. For example, an active sentence reads: I emailed the clients.
Conversely, a passive sentence is more muddled and needlessly wordy: The clients were emailed by me.
An easy way to tell if you’re using passive voice, is if the words ”by zombies” easily fits in the sentence, it’s passive!
- The house was haunted… by zombies
- The clients were emailed… by zombies
- Breakfast was made… by zombies!
This wouldn’t happen with active sentences:
- Ghosts haunted the house… by zombies? Nope, doesn’t work.
- I emailed the clients… By zombies.
- Zombies made breakfast… by zombies.
See? It’s just that easy. In more grammatical terms, passive voice happens when your verb becomes the subject of the sentence, by using a conjugation of the verb “to be” (is, am, are, was, were, be, been, being). Essentially, you keep your sentences streamlined and clear by allowing the verb to do all the work – “haunted,” “emailed,” “made,” don’t need an additional version of “to be” in front of them since the verb already implies that action.
Know Your Punctuation
If you’re going to use punctuation, you have to know why you’re using it. Is it because it looks pretty or makes you appear smarter? Perhaps nothing undermines your marketing more than trying to appear smart with your punctuation and failing to use it properly. The following is a list of common mistakes that you should look out for. See if you can correct the mistakes below:
- Extra apostrophes are an eyesore – Get your’s today! A coupon for 10 dollar’s off your next purchase.
- Missing commas change everything– Let’s eat grandma!
- Too many commas put me to sleep– Get online in the morning, check your progress on social media followers, respond to their requests, grab your cup of coffee before checking your emails, then set up your email newsletter while your coffee cools, and make sure to respond to all your messages from customers before starting your larger work tasks.
- Excessive exclamation is exhausting– Not everything needs to be an exclamatory sentence! Get your grammar together today! Your friends, family and clients will thank you!
- What it is, baby (it’s, its confusion)– Its always annoying to see people confuse words when it’s definition is easily found online!
- Unnecessary quotation marks imply a hidden meaning – We have the “lowest” prices in town!
Modifiers are words, phrases, or clauses that add description to your sentence. In logical sentences, you will find modifiers right next to the words they describe. To correct the memes above from their dangling modifiers, they would read like this:
The cat jumped into my lap while I was reading a book.
The waitress offered to bring out the dessert tray after I finished my dinner.
It may be difficult to remember these rules so many years after learning them. Hopefully some of these memes will help them stick in your brain. Remember, the spell check and grammar check on your computer are your friends, and if you have questions, just look it up online!
If you want assistance writing content for your website, newsletter or blog, contact us at KreativElement. We are grammar nerds who love to write!