I came across this: “10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling” from TheOatmeal.com and nearly busted a button laughing at the great illustrations. It got me thinking about what other bad habits writers should focus on eliminating in 2010.
STOP: Ignoring the difference between lay, lie and laid
There is a difference. It is important. If you need help, for Pete’s sake look it up! Here are a few resources that explain the difference in several different ways:
STOP: Relying on spellcheck
Spellcheck is an indispensable tool, but it isn’t a fool-proof application. It doesn’t correct words used incorrectly if you mean ‘their’ but use ‘there’ and spell it correctly spellcheck will leave your error there for the whole world to giggle.
STOP: Twitter and Facebook errors
I’m guilty of this myself. I shoot off a quick Tweet or response and I’ve spelled something wrong, or left out a word and not just to meet Twitter’s character quota. We’re writers. We have to spell things correctly and adequately convey our thoughts without error. It would be like a chef Tweeting the wrong ingredients to a friend. Writing is what you do so get it right.
STOP: Relying on old style guides
I’m going out today to get brand new AP and Chicago Style guides. I have held on to my AP Stylebook for years because it’s comfortably worn and feels right in my hands. Unfortunately, it’s outdated which is about as helpful as a broken laptop. Join me at the bookstore today or renew your online subscription and get one last business deduction for your taxes.
These are just a couple of things that will make 2010 a better writing year, got anymore you want to add? Write them below!