So spelling and grammar can be tricky. And we often form and perpetuate habits rather than thinking through what we’re saying or writing.
Here’s six (speaking and) writing mistakes I see alllllll the time. And, if you find yourself doing them, here’s some simple reminders to help you kick those pesky habits – and improve your writing.
1. Reason/reasons doesn’t need “why” after it
There are five reasons why you should try this. Nope. There are five reasons you should try this.
This is the reason why I love chocolate. Nyet. This is the reason I love chocolate.
2. Stop saying “Me, personally or I, personally”
When you say “me” or “I’, it is nothing but personal. Lose the “personally”.
3. People who – not people that
*Generally, whenever you use the word, people, make sure you use “who” not “that” after it. We’re humans, not things. I love people who dance like nobody is watching. I love people who get it. *There are some exceptions to this rule.
4. Lose “morning” after AM (and afternoon or evening after PM)
You don’t need to say 4am in the morning (or 5pm in the afternoon). I woke up at 4am. I napped at 5pm. You could say “I woke up at four in the morning” and “I napped at five in the afternoon”, but it’s a bit wordy.
5. Don’t write “different to”
It’s similar to; different from. Always. Your shoes are different from mine, but similar to Joe’s.
6. Lose “would of”, “should of” and “could of”
Even though the contraction, ‘ve, sometimes sounds like ‘of’, it does not mean it. Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve means would have, could have, should have – not would of, could of, should of.
Compare these two paragraphs:
What not to do
I, personally, believe there are five reasons why you should try this.
People that don’t believe me just don’t get it.
People that wake up at 4am in the morning probably have a naughty chocolate Labrador too.
People that are different to me are A-OK.
People that should of known better still don’t believe me.
What to do
I believe there are five reasons you should try this.
People who don’t believe me just don’t get it.
People who wake up at 4am probably have a naughty chocolate Labrador too.
People who are different from me are A-OK.
People who should’ve known better still don’t believe me.