When it comes to grammar, I can be a real rules girl. Though I am by no means immune to errors, I love being a stickler for proper usage and spelling. If you come from a background in writing, editing, journalism or English studies, you're probably the same way. I've written more than once on IFB about easy tips and common errors when it comes to bloggers and grammar, but I'm about to change my tune — a little.
As we all know, there are some rules that are meant to be broken; like wearing white after labor day and mixing navy and black. Blogging is a conversational platform, where building relationships and creating a friendly dialog is important. In that way, we can really benefit from writing how we talk. As much as we might resist it at first, that means breaking some grammar rules.
We all use slang in our daily conversations, which means it will probably translate well with your blog readers. Does this mean showering your posts with “YOLO” and “totes amaze” every other paragraph? Of course not, but don't be afraid to embrace the fun and funny terminology that gives flavor and humor to Internet writing.
This one might seem obvious, but contractions are one of the simplest ways to give your writing a conversational feel. It's more than just negatives like can't, didn't and don't, there are shortenings like “you are” to you're and “we have” to we've.
In English class you could hardly get away with this one – but blogging is a great place to embrace the use of fragments and partial sentences to add drama and personality to your writing. Seriously.
Play with made up words.
I read once that the mark of a truly great writer is the ability to make up new words and bring them into use. It's believed that Dr. Seuss was one of the first people to use the word “nerd,” in a published work (If I Ran The Zoo) the 1950s. Do you have a better word than fashionista or hey, even blogger? Try it out!
Starting in elementary school, we've been taught that a full paragraph has at least three sentences, usually no more than five. That rule is so tired.
Try breaking up your stylish thoughts up into punchy bits of text only one or two sentences long. Your readers attention spans are short, so it's best not to bombard them with a huge blob of text seven or eight sentences long if you can avoid it.
Address your audience with the word “you.”
What better way to connect with your audience than referring to them as “you?” We do this all the time on IFB so that you feel like we're invested in each reader personally – which we are. The hope is that as you read the post, it's apparent that we want to relate, help, and speak to bloggers as individual people.
The folks at Grammarly have a pretty fun and silly take on grammar as well, from their Facebook page:
What grammar rules do you break on your blog?