A Modern Guide to Grammar: Tips for Content Marketers
Whether we admit it or not, modern technology has all but ruined good grammar. There are people all over the Internet lol-ing and h8ting on others, calling them dum and commenting on how rong there grammer really is. Sheesh, that was really difficult to get through.
No matter how lenient the rules for texting and tweeting get, marketing—especially content marketing—is not the place for poor grammar or punctuation. Kuno has taken the responsibility of creating a Modern Guide to Grammar: Tips for Content Marketers. We understand the Internet does not need to be a place of perfection, and typos happen to the best of us, but please don’t let us catch you breaking the rules that follow.
- Comma Use: It’s the big beast of punctuation with many different uses. We all know the basic “use to separate independent clauses when used with a conjunction,” and “use to separate three or more words, phrases or clauses written in a series,” so I won’t bore you with those. Here are a few more important comma uses to consider:
- Use commas after introductory clauses, phrases or words. Because you are reading this blog post, you will be a grammar master!
- Set off clauses, phrases and words that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence with commas (do not use them to set off essential information to the sentence). Kuno Creative, the agency in Cleveland, won the Best Inbound Marketing Blog in the MarketingSherpa 2012 Reader's Choice Awards.
- Use commas to separate two or more coordinate adjectives that describe the same noun. Your reward for being a grammar pro should be a big, shiny badge.
- Use a comma before beginning a quote. Brianne said, "Great job on your blog post, Grammar Pro."
- As for the Oxford comma, it’s still up in the air. Jury says…it’s your choice! Just be consistent
- Periods and Parenthesis: There are only two options with this one: Place a period outside a closing parenthesis if the material inside is not a sentence (such as this fragment). An independent sentence within parenthesis needs a period before closing the parenthesis. (Don't say I didn't show you how.)
- Ellipsis: The ellipsis consists of three evenly spaced dots (periods) with spaces between the ellipsis and surrounding letters or other marks.
Don't be tempted to get fancy with ellipsis ... just keep them simple and balanced.
- Me, Myself and I: This can be a tricky one! Remember, I is the first person subject pronoun, which refers to the person performing the action of a verb. I like writing and blogging. Me is an object pronoun that refers to the person that the action of a verb is being done to. She wrote a blog about me. Myself should be used in conjunction with the subject pronoun I, not instead of the object pronoun me. I bought myself an awesomely amazing grammar manual.
- Beginning a Sentence with a Conjunction: This is a rule you should be glad to break! No matter what your English teacher said, you can, and sometimes should, begin a sentence with and, but or yet. And you don’t even need to use a comma after it!
- Semicolons: Ah, the downfall of many writers. The semicolon can be a confusing little mark. Most commonly, a semicolon is used to join two independent clauses that are closely related in thought; this means that both sides of the punctuation are FULL sentences. You also do not need a conjunction here. A second use for a semicolon is separating items in a list if those items contain commas, are lengthy or could become confusing.
- That versus Which: You might need to pound this one into your brain. That is used with restrictive clauses and no comma; which is used with nonrestrictive clauses and commas. Let’s break that down: The blog post that was published today received a lot of traffic. The blog post, which was my favorite to write, was about lead nurturing.
- Bonus Tip: OK maybe this is more of a pet peeve than a tip, per se, but please stop double spacing between sentences. The Internet is no place for that sort of excess!
That was a lot of rules and not terribly exciting to read, I know. But keep this post close; you may want to refer to it during your content marketing creation sessions. And remember all those your, you're; there, their, they're; and to, too, two rules. Together we can keep our corner of the Internet void of “h8ters” and well kempt!
What’s your grammar pet peeve? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to download the Content Marketing Manifesto!
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