In advertising, content is often declared King of the Priorities, but let’s take a moment to review some common grammatical errors that serve to negate your witty ad campaign by making you appear ignorant. Did that sound harsh? I apologize, but many of these errors will reduce the professional appearance of the slides on your Retriever Digital Signage… a tragedy that is completely avoidable!
One of the features of the Retriever Digital Signage 2.0 is up-to-the-minute updates on any edits you may need to make so you’ll never have to look at another flyer again and mourn the waste of printing an error – grammatical or otherwise. The ability to fix any errors on your digital display is great, but why not take a moment to jot down these common errors to keep by your workstation so won’t have to waste valuable time correcting typos?
- Your/You’re – “Your” is a possessive pronoun, as in “your car” or “your desk“. “You’re” is a contraction of “you are“. For example: “You’re screwing up your writing by using ‘your’ when you mean ‘you are.'”
- There/Their/They’re – “There” is a location. “Their” is something that a group possesses – “their team.” “They’re” is a contraction of “they are“. You may need to slow down your typing to talk this one out to be sure you’ve chosen the right word!
- Historic/Historical – “Historic” means an important event that is happening right now, or will happen such as “Tom’s market announces a historic sale on custom fruit baskets this weekend.”Historical” is something that happened in the past.
- Literally – Please don’t. Literally isn’t to be used in metaphors or analogies, it means exactly what you say is true, so let’s just not use it, ok?
- Fewer/Less – If you can count it, use “fewer” to describe. If you cannot, use “less“. Kari has less incentive to come in early since the office cappuccino machine is down.
- Apostrophe – You only use an apostrophe in for contractions (i.e. don’t, can’t, isn’t, etc.) or to show possession. Never to show a plural!
- Loose/Lose – Please proof carefully for this one. If your hold on grammar is to loose, you might lose clients because you appear unprofessional.
- Affect/Effect – “Affect” is a verb, as in: “Your ability to communicate clearly will affect your clients.”Effect” is primarily a noun, as in: “The effect of poor communication has been well documented in the demise of relationships.”
- Then/Than – As a general rule, “than” should be used when making a comparison such a: “This is bigger than that.” “Then” applies to all other instances as it has a variety of meanings including “in addition to” and “at a point in time.”
- Its/It’s – “Its” is a possessive pronoun as in: “That dog dropped its toy for you throw again.” “It’s” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”, so try saying your sentence out loud using “it is” before you add that apostrophe!
Even the smallest organization deserves to look professional and Retriever Digital Signage does a lot to accomplish that goal. Proper spelling, punctuation and grammar take that professional appearance and validate it. It just takes a moment or two to proof your slides, but they are moments that can save you plenty of embarrassment and help you put your best foot forward.