I’m convinced that social media, smart phones and the internet have sucked the ability to write a proper sentence out of most Americans. These are amazing inventions, but they’ve led to our dumbing down, and we’ve forgotten even the most basic rules we were taught in elementary school. Here are five common mistakes that could inadvertently be sending the wrong message to your readers, whether it’s a blog, social media post, listing copy or email.
Back to the Basics
I often see people mixing up basic words like its/it’s, their/they’re/there, than/then, and even one/won. We’re taught the difference between words that sound the same but are spelled differently (homophones) in elementary school, so I’m hopeful that these mistakes just slip through because we’re all busy and trying to do 20 things at once. But making this mistake in your communications could lead to people questioning your professionalism, intelligence, and at the very least, your attention to detail. Click here for a quick refresher on some of the most common mistakes.
Texting Shortcuts Are Not Words
BTW, most PPL don’t like having to decipher texting lingo, which is creeping into business emails, social media, property descriptions and even marketing materials. IMHO, it makes the writer look unprofessional. So CYA and avoid them. NRN.
Overusing Exclamation Points!!!!!!
This is the most stunning property you will ever see! The bathroom has both a shower and tub!! And the kitchen has a view of the backyard!!! And the yard has a tree!!!! Save exclamation points for things that are really, truly exciting. When used sparingly, they carry much more weight.
Quotation marks are used when you are citing the exact words that someone said, and that’s pretty much it. Some writers like to put quotes around phrases they think others might be confused by, but in reality, these phrases are almost always common and easily understood. Give your readers more credit than that, and assume they’ll understand what you are saying. “Avoid” using quotation marks around “phrases” – if someone is “confused” by your amazing vocabulary, they can “look it up”!
NO ONE LIKES TO READ THINGS IN ALL CAPS, WHETHER IT’S AN EMAIL, SOCIAL MEDIA POST OR PROPERTY LISTING DESCRIPTION. IT’S ANNOYING, JARRING TO THE EYE, AND GIVES THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU’RE YELLING AT THE READER. SO WE SUGGEST YOU TRY TO AVOID IT. (Of course, if you really are ranting, cap away!)
If you avoid these common mistakes, you will send the message that you are professional, savvy and ready for business!