I know, the title should be you’re not your. Last week I published this mistake in a blog, “There ready to help you.” It should’ve been “They’re ready to help you.” A co-worker pointed out my poor grammar, and I changed it. I know the difference, but I missed it. I missed it more than once. I missed it when I wrote it, and when I edited it 24 hours later. I missed it when I read it aloud, and I missed it when I reviewed each sentence one at a time beginning from the end of the post. I missed it when I ran it through an editing app, and I missed it once again when I published it. My point is you should know the rules, complete edits, and do your best, however, most of us will occasionally make mistakes.
You should know the rules or at least be able to find them
I can’t keep track of all the rules. I reply on online sources such as Grammar Girl when I’m at a loss or have a question. I keep a copy of My Grammar and I…Or Should That Be Me? As well as a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creative Writing at my home office where I do most of my writing. Many writers refer to Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, and still others rely on style guides such as the AP Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style. The more you study these sources, the more you’ll learn and retain, but you’ll still make mistakes so have a plan to find and fix them.
I find and fix many mistakes during my editing process, but I don’t find them all. I’ve published more than 1200 blog posts in the last three years and there…I mean they’re far from perfect. Two to three times a week I go to WordPress and access older posts for review. I don’t always find copy mistakes. I find missing images, broken links, and formatting issues, which I repair. I find bad sentence structure and poor word usage, which I don’t always change, but take note and learn from. (Yes, I sometimes end sentences with prepositions and begin them with conjunctions!) And I occasionally I find grammatical errors, which I fix.
Don’t put it off because it’s not perfect
About one year ago I worked with a company on a blogging and social media plan. I spent three hours facilitating a brainstorming session with six members of their sales and marketing team. We identified four blog topics, outlined eight ideas, assigned social media networks, and decided to publish one new blog a week. It was decided to begin by getting ahead of the game. I was hired to write five posts to position the team five weeks ahead. The organization invested nearly $1000 in this effort and took time out of their busy schedules. They had good intentions, but it’s been almost a year and no posts have been published. They haven’t posted the ones I wrote or any of the posts the six team members planned to write. In fairness, there has been a marketing management change on this team, but I suspect some of the procrastination is due to multiple departments looking for the perfect post before they begin publishing. This is an easy trap to fall prey to.
Who needs grammar, or is it whom?
You do. Please don’t take what I’ve shared to excuse you from publishing the most grammatically correct post possible. Edit your posts, learn the rules, and commit to deep edits, because even the best can make a mistake. At the same time, don’t let fear of failure stop you from publishing your posts. And please let me know when you find errors in my posts I know there out they’re.