Grammar for Wedding Blog Writers

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Many creative and artistically inclined people do not claim grammar as their forte.  While it may not be your strong suit, as professionals who specialize in details, it is something that we need to pay close attention to.  While you don't need to pull out a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style while you write your blog posts, there are some simple grammar guidelines to keep in mind:

*These brace symbols are cute: { }, but there is a point where enough is enough.  I, too, am guilty of using them at times on my blog in lieu of regular parentheses, but at some point they become uncreative and just become distracting clutter.  Where are you on that scale?  What purpose do they serve when you use them?  Good writing doesn't need to be dressed up with symbols.

*Speaking of symbols, try to limit your use of emoticons.  If you're being funny, it should come through in your writing. Adding a smiley face isn't usually necessary (and again, I am totally guilty of this when I leave blog comments).  The instant message chat phrase LOL should also not be a part of your writing. 

*Exclamation marks should be limited to one mark for excitement or two, max, if you're discussing something particularly mind-blowing.  Remember, your target readership is probably not a group of 16-year old girls, but most likely brides with post-graduate degrees.

*Numbers with fewer than two digits get spelled out.  Example: 7 should always be written as seven, seventeen may be written as 17.

*Than is used for comparison.  Then answers the question 'when?'.  Examples:
The bride likes peonies more than roses.
Her first choice was peonies, then she switched to roses when she learned peonies were out of season.

*Text should be left-justified.  Centered text is distracting, and causes the mind to fatigue because it is not accustomed to it.  Readers will click out of your site at a faster rate if the article text is not where their brain says it should normally be.  If it defaults to center because of your photos, be sure to left-justify it before hitting publish.

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