Dot Your “I’s” and Cross Your “T’s”

By Patricia Vennes | Writing

May 04

Writing can be a fun excursion for you, but a daunting eye cringing task for your readers if they have to fix your errors as they read.

Common errors that occur are capitalization. “I” should always be capitalized when by its self, and as always the first letter of the first word of a new sentence should be capitalized. Proper names should be capitalized: Mary, John, United States, or Earth. This includes names of people, states, countries, and people titles, such as Doctor. Although this may seem like something you learn in the first grade, many bloggers let these errors go because they are in a rush. While these errors aren’t that big of a deal, it makes you look incompetent and lazy.

Apostrophes are another common problem that can really alter what you are trying to say. When you type “can’t, won’t, or aren’t” readers will be able to understand what you mean when you leave the apostrophe out, but words such as “we’ll, I’ll, and I’m” take on a completely different meaning without the apostrophe.

You don’t want your readers to think that you meant to write “ill go” when you meant “I’ll go”. When I read mistakes such as these I want to shove my hand into the computer and slap the author. These errors are inexcusable because it makes the reader feel that you don’t really care about what you are saying enough to have one last read through.

Never, Never, NEVER use texting acronyms or abbreviations unless you are using them in quotations. Using “b/c, FYI, w/, ASAP, or w/o” in your blog makes you look childish and more unprofessional than if you were the worst speller in the world, well maybe not the worst, but you get the hint.

If you are writing for others to read what you have to say, which is why you have a blog to begin with, then take the time to spell out words. Although many of us use these acronyms with our friends and while texting, using them in your blog isn’t the right place. Texting language is fun when you don’t have anything at stake, but when you put your words out on the Internet you have your reputation and ego on the line.

Catching small errors can be difficult so it’s important to have a back up plan after you’ve read through your article. Print out what you’ve written for better proofreading. This may seem like something that just takes up extra time along with paper and ink, but you will be able to see your mistakes more clearly if you have a printout in front of you. Read your work out loud to yourself as well. The process of hearing the words will help you find mistakes more easily and since you read out loud slower, you’ll be able to concentrate on all of the words rather than just glancing over everything.


About the Author

Patricia is a graduate of California State University San Bernardino with her BA in English Creative Writing. She writes a health blog at and an English blog at Currently she is working on a sci-fi novel as well as a teen fiction novel and several short stories.

Hendry Lee May 4, 2009

I agree that blogging requires that we need to scrupulously edit and check for grammatical or spelling mistakes.

On the other hand, I tend not to have readers who demand perfect writing. I'd better not having them as customers, as they are very likely to "throw the baby out with the bath water."

neon May 4, 2009

for example, the site you guys advertise ( sells writing services, but if you have a look a their company blog you will notice that it is rampant with typos and incorrect grammar.

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