Minnesota Farmer

Stop being a hick!
January 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Farm | Tags: , , , ,

Oh, I hate it when you write like a hick.  I admit to being a country boy, but I try not to sound like one in my blog.  I read and re-read every submission and really look for the incorrect uses of common words that spell checker will not catch.  If I want people to believe me, I feel I must sound like I have a better than average understanding of this crazy english language.

One of the most common mistakes in a blog is the misuse of they’re, their and there.  Here’s a little cheat sheet to know if you are using the right form that I stole from wikiHow.

When to Use How to Test
There Naming a place, a thing, or the existence of something Replace “there” with “here”
Their Showing possession Replace “their” with “our”
They’re Combining the words “they” and “are” Replace “they’re” with “they are”

Another commonly missed sound-alike is to, too and two.  Now two should be easy because it means the number 2, but I’ve seen it used in the wrong place also.  Too and to are the most common transpositions.  So, here’s a little cheat sheet for you.  It’s also from wikiHow.

When to Use Too

  • In addition; to a higher degree
  • To indicate something extra or to express excessiveness. Test by replacing “too” with “also” or “excessively,” depending on the situation.

When to Use To

  • To express direction; to identify the recipient of something
  • When referencing a direction or recipient of an action (direction); when referring to a verb in a general or abstract way or when following certain other verbs, such as “need” or “help” (infinitive)
 So please, stop sounding like a hick when you write.  Check your writing carefully.  If you want people to take you seriously you need to sound like you at least have half a brain.

1 Comment so far
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Part of my job is copywriting and editing…so I catch a lot of mistakes on blogs and I miss the days when I was blissfully ignorant. That said, it is always harder to catch your own mistakes. A good practice is to edit a day or more after writing so your sentences aren’t so fresh in your mind. Read the piece slowly and out loud as well.

Comment by Colby Miller (@myaglife)

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