Thursday, September 6, 2007

Role of Correct Grammar and Punctuation in Blogging

Besides other things that you should consider when you take up blogging (read Blog2Life), is the important aspect of proper following of the rules of grammar and the code of punctuation. In my opinion, this is the kind of stuff that makes most of the difference between a user’s choice as to which blog he should read and which one he shouldn’t. This is a part of what can set you heads-high apart from the millions of other bloggers already out there always prepared to run over you in the blogosphere.

This is an often overlooked but a point of vital importance. Let’s take the example of the many-many blogs we come across daily. How many of them interest you? Why? How many do you subscribe to? I don’t think you subscribe to one just by considering the design and layout! We can easily notice that most of the well-written blogs do follow these rules. The underlying concept is simple:

You have readers that can’t differentiate between a grammatically perfect (or at least good!) blog post and a one that is written in a rush with little attention paid to commas, colons and full-stops. And these people won’t care even. If you follow these rules when posting, you won’t be bothering this class because they will be least affected but poor language and ill-punctuated posts will certainly be a put-off for the other kind of readers. Neglecting this aspect of ethical blogging can, however, make you lose a percentage of your valuable readership. So it is analogous to stuff lying in your store, which does no harm by staying there but proves useful, just when you need it. You’ll need it all the time while blogging, though.

So the conclusion that I derive from my thoughts about this issue is that, using sound language and correct usage of grammar and punctuation is not to make a show that you’re wiser than the rest and/or well educated or more learned than others, but to touch in the right spot, by the linguistically sensitive who maybe easily put off by laxity regarding this aspect that you should keep in mind while writing a post.

Reading through the following points may help you in taking care about this:

§ Do a thorough spell check before posting. Your favorite word processors may not be amazing at it, but they can sure help you with the most common errors and silly mistakes.

§ Avoid using SMS-Speak. By SMS-Speak, I mean the use of ‘u’ at the place of ‘you’ or ‘ur’ at the place of ‘your’. An ‘i’ for an ‘I’ may look crass to the sensitive eye and may mar a reader’s experience of going through your blog-post even if your content is good by killing the essence and interest of the topic.

§ Read your post once or twice (or thrice even!) again, before posting. Most of the times, we can find the silliest mistakes being committed even when writing something with full presence of body and mind.

§ Question yourself. Ask yourself whether you like what you have written after self-reviewing it. Think about whether you have written just too little about your project or just overdid it. Will your readers understand your language? Will they be able to carry along with your way of writing? And, So and So…

Reviewing and editing your own work will surprise you when you’ll see how much difference it can make.

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Suggested Reading:

Blog 2 Life - Blog Branding, Design and Development

Richard T. Cunningham's Views about the same