This is my first blog post in BloggingTips, and I am thankful to Kevin, my friend, for that. My name is Lenin Nair; I am a prolific blogger of two blogs (one on writing and the other on various topics including SEO, Marketing, etc.,) and a freelance writer with Constant-Content, writing articles mainly on Web technologies and economics.
OK, let’s get to the task in hand. This is meant as an introductory post giving you some guidelines and thoughts. Writing grammatically and stylistically perfect blog entries is not a simple task to do. Though there are rules for everything, some of them are very flexible. But there are certain areas in writing, which, if you don’t care enough, can make your writing look substandard. Here are some of them.
For instance, look at this context. When somebody asks, “Who is it?” The reply should be “It’s I,” not “It’s me.”
On the contrary, if somebody asks, “Whom did Ed meet?” the answer is “It’s me,” and not “It’s I.”
So the rule is: when you use it in subjective form, use ‘I’ and in objective form, use ‘me.’ Examples:
It’s I here. (Looks rather amusing, right? But it’s correct grammatically. Since the other form is used heavily, even some lenient grammarians deem it all right to say “It’s me.”)
Yes, he hit someone, and it’s me.
Jim and I did it right.
Tom taught Kay and me.
So, use it carefully; it is best to double-check if you mean subject or object. The same rule holds good in third person pronouns. In second person pronouns and proper nouns, this rule is not important.
“It’s Jim,” “It’s you,” etc.
Having turned the corner, the hotel came into view.
Here, the part “having turned the corner” refers to ‘the hotel,’ but ‘the hotel’ didn’t and can’t turn any corners. So, the sentence is grammatically wrong. The correct sentence should be:
Having turned the corner, we saw the hotel.
The rule: Always place the dangling modifier right before or next to the word or group of words, it modifies to avoid confusion. For instance:
Having studied until the morning, Joe felt sleepy in the exam hall.
Jim saw Sarah, walking toward the department store. (Sarah was walking and not Jim)
Jim, sitting in the car, saw Sarah.
Sitting in the car, Jim saw Sarah. (In both these, Jim was sitting in the car.)
There are certain instances, which are deemed correct, though some fussy grammarians may frown. For instance:
To get higher percentage, the examination was repeated.
Without knowing the route, it was difficult to find the address.
You will find a detailed post about dangling modifiers in my blog post here.
It’s = It is or It has
Its = Possessive form (Its cat, its doll, etc.)
Their = Possessive form (Their daughter)
There = at some designated place
They’re = They are
Your = Possessive form (Your house)
You’re = You are
So, the rule is: Apostrophe designates auxiliary verb in any pronoun.
Mistakes related to semantics of words may make you look rather silly. Here is a sentence I found recently: “She moved out of site,” while it should clearly have been “out of sight.” This kind of mistakes can be easily avoided by using a thesaurus and a dictionary.
Whenever you write your blog entries, have your dictionary and your thesaurus nearby, and look up any confusing word or construction. Also, make it a habit to visit any educational websites or blogs out there. At the bottom, I will give you some links.
And here are some general guidelines to write good blog posts. These are not grammar or style guidelines, but some general thoughts.
rather than from your side, in the first person POV. I personally believe third-person POV is the most apt for fiction and encyclopedic articles. But for blogs, it must be first person POV. Here in blogs, what we come out with are personal opinions, judgments, and predictions. We are not here to write for academia.
Here are some grammar and writing sites you may wish to check out.
http://www.writing-world.com/ : Look at the Links section.