Happy National Grammar Day! March forth
March 4th is National Grammar Day

By now, shouldn’t we all be spelling ‘website’ the same way, as in one word that is all lowercase? Well, things have been moving pretty quickly over the last several years. Social media channels such as Google Plus and Myspace are recapturing our attention, just as we’re getting comfortable Googling on the Web, liking Facebook posts, and retweeting tweets. In honor of National Grammar Day on March 4, the MaccaPR blog took a fresh look at the newest words and verbs coming out of the social media world – and how to spell and use them.

Here at Maccabee, we often turn to the foremost authority on writing – the Associated Press. We can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing someone is dictating syntax standards for the newest of the new technology-related terms! And, it’s actually quite a wonder that the newsgathering cooperative dating from 1846 is the one doing such a great job. Hear, hear for the AP and consistency in writing!


So, listen up… it’s time for your first – and maybe last? – MaccaPR grammar lesson. Read on for two dozen common social media and online technology terms you can’t avoid in business these days, complete with usages and spellings:

impeccable grammar meme

  1. app Short for application.
  2. blog A website where short entries are usually (but not always) presented in reverse chronological order, with the newest entry first. Can be news, commentary, photos, video or any combination of the above and other items. An update to a blog is a blog post or blog entry.
  3. check in (v.), check-in (n. and adj.) When using a location-based social networking tool, such as Foursquare, the act of sharing a location via a mobile device.
  4. click-thrus A way of measuring how many people click a link online to see its destination site. Click-thrus are often used to set advertising rates.
  5. curate The practice of selecting, packaging and presenting content to the public online in a more personal and hand-picked way, as opposed to automated news feeds. (Editor’s Note: For more on this practice, read Abra Williams’ Content Curation: Defining What It Is and Is Not post.)
  6. e-book The electronic, nonpaper version of a book or publication, sold digitally and commonly consumed on an e-book reader or e-reader, such as Amazon’s Kindle.
  7. email Acceptable in all references for electronic mail. Use a hyphen with other e- terms: e-book, e-business, e-commerce.
  8. Facebook The world’s most popular social networking service. Should be capitalized in all uses, even when saying your were Facebooking.
  9. fan, friend, follow, like Acceptable as both nouns and verbs. Friend and like (formerly fan) are typically used on Facebook, while Twitter users follow and have followers. These do not require quotes.
  10. Google, Googling, Googled Google is a trademark for a Web search engine. Google, Googling and Googled are used informally as a verb for searching for information on the Internet. Always capitalized.
  11. Google Plus A social network owned by Google in which users can share text updates, videos, photos or other content, and organize fellow users into circles based on relationships or other factors. One popular feature of Google Plus is hangouts, where users can chat with others using webcams.
  12. hashtag The use of a number sign (#) in a tweet to convey the subject a user is writing about so that it can be indexed and accessed in other users’ feeds.
  13. iPad and iPhone A trademark for a brand of tablet or smartphone. Use IPad or IPhone when the word starts a sentence or headline.
  14. LinkedIn A social media site used mainly for professional networking.
  15. live-blog Snippets of information about a particular event that are posted online in real time, usually in reverse chronological order, with the newest entry first. Can be used as a noun or verb.
  16. LOL The Stylebook’s social media abbreviations include LOL for laughing out loud. Ending a sentence, LOL is followed by a period and enclosed in quotes: “… LOL.”
  17. Myspace A social network and music site.
  18. Pinterest A social network in which users collect and share images from the Web in theme-based collections, also known as pinboards or boards.
  19. retweet The practice, on Twitter, of forwarding a message or link from someone else to your followers. Spelled out in all references, though common usage on Twitter abbreviates to RT. If you amend the tweet before forwarding, use the abbreviation MT for “modified tweet.”
  20. smartphone An advanced mobile device, such as an iPhone, that can be used to check email, browse the Web and download applications.
  21. social media Online tools used by people to connect with one another, including social networks. The word is probably plural in the sense of mass communications, but depends on usage.
  22. Twitter A message-distribution system that allows users to post continual updates of up to 140 characters detailing their activities for followers or providing links to other content. The verb is to tweet, tweeted.
  23. Web Web is uppercase when used as a term with separate words, such as Web page, Web feed or Web browser.
  24. website A location on the World Wide Web that maintains one or more pages at a specific address. The AP Stylebook “website” entry was amended in April 2010 to specify website (one word). Also, webcam, webcast and webmaster.
Note: These definitions are guided by the online AP Stylebook, primarily the chapter devoted to Social Media Guidelines.Which word on this list was a total surprise to you? Comment below or share it with me on Twitter using @ChristinaMila and @MaccabeePR.