Happy Grammar Day! Top 10 Grammar Tips for Content CreatorsYes, campers, March 4 is National Grammar Day, established in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG) and author of Things That Make Us [Sic] (extra geek points to everyone who gets the pun in that title).

If you’ve hung around this blog or our podcast for a while, you’ll know that I’m big on getting grammar right. And I’m not the only one. Good grammar does make a difference, and what seem to many to be “nitpicky” details really can make or break you as a thought leader … which is what we content marketers are after, right?

So here’s my gift to you on this day: 10 tips to keep your content on the high road. Enjoy!

  1. An apostrophe (‘) is used for one of two purposes: (a) to show possession (“Sophie’s delicious rawhide bone”) or (b) in a contraction (a grammatical mashup of a noun and a verb, as in “that’s” in place of “that is”). That’s it. No sneaking them into plurals (“try our delicious cake’s”).
  2. Not all spelling mistakes will be picked up by your spell-checker. Proofread, proofread, proofread!
  3. Avoid comma splices (“I looked for John, he wasn’t there”). If you need to join two independent clauses (clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence), insert “and” or a semicolon (;). A comma won’t cut it here.
  4. “Their,” “they’re,” and “there” are not interchangeable. Get ’em straight.
  5. Ditto for “your” and “you’re.”
  6. Ditto again for “its” and “it’s.”
  7. And again for “peek,” “peak,” and “pique.”
  8. “Affect” is a verb; “effect” is (in most cases) a noun.
  9. Something is “different from” (not “different than”) something else.
  10. “[person’s name] and I” or “[person’s name] and me?” It depends on the phrase’s role in the sentence.
    • Use “… and I” if it’s the subject (“Adam and I are going to the
    • Use  “… and me” if it’s a direct object or object of a preposition (“Please email that to Robert and me”).

OK, folks, your turn: what are your top tips for becoming a grammar ninja? Share them with us in the Comments!