Marketing Minute – Writin’ Right (or Correctly) Part I

January 7, 2010 separator marketing minute

I’m a total geek. I am absolutely unashamed to admit that bad grammar, punctuation, and spelling make me cringe. People have amazing things to say, and sometimes small mistakes can really detract from the bottom line. This post is miserably boring, so I’ve laced it with loads of utterly cheesy comics. Forgive me my nerdiness, but maybe this will save your next blog post or Etsy listing!

  • Articles and prepositions are not capitalized. No – not even in titles, unless the article or preposition is the first word.
    • articles: a, an, the
    • prepositions: about, during, except, of, off, on, between, since…
  • Only prepositional phrases of at least four words get a comma at the beginning of a sentence.
    • “During the past year,” – comma)
    • “Of all the book I’ve read,” – comma
    • “Before the movie” – no comma

  • You only separate a compound sentence with commas if both sides of the comma could stand as two separate sentences. Read both sides of the comma aloud to yourself to see if they make sense alone.
    • I bought a new dress, and I got my hair cut. – makes sense separately
    • I bought a dress and got my hair cut. – doesn’t make sense separately
    • I bought a dress and shoes. – doesn’t make sense separately

  • Only use apostrophes if something would normally be two words (a contraction) or if you are indicating ownership (posession). “It” and “her” are exceptions.
    • It’s – it is – apostrophe
    • Its/hers – belonging to “it”/”her” – no apostrophe
    • There’s – there is – two words
    • Theirs – belong to “them” – possession
    • Lindsay’s – Lindsay is – two words
    • Lindsay’s – belonging to Lindsay – possession
  • Finally, SPELL CHECK! If you’re typing anything important, write it in Word first so that you can spell check it. I always use Firefox for my blogging because it automatically spell checks everything I write. Misspellings will make you look unprofessional and careless in a big hurry.


  1. I love you – I’m not the only one. Your and you’re mistakes drive me nuts as well. These kind of goofs(?) drive me nuts. Never mind they’re, there and their

  2. Linds sometimes I can’t even spell grammar. I want to put grammer. AHHHHHHHHH….

  3. You are funny! Thanks for the comment on my other blog Hopetreestudio. This is a new blog and shop I have. Don’t you just love Temecula. Blessings, DE

  4. ha! you are hilarious…although you will most likely resent my lack of capitalization in this comment haha

  5. Love it! It used to drive me crazy when I home schooled our youngest daughter. I started when she was in third grade. She had no clue about punctuation or grammar. To this day, she corrects people and always gives a laugh when she does. Says it’s her Mom coming out in her!

  6. Great post!!!! I’m thinking I should comment anonymously so you don’t go check up on my blog for grammar errors 😉 No, I’m usually pretty concerned about spelling, grammar and the like!! All the best!

  7. Yooz got sum grate ideaz their. Baad spelin’ drives mi CRAAZIE !!!


  8. This is a great article Lindsay!

    I, too, am a spelling, grammar and punctuation fanatic. This comes from my English mum who constantly corrected (in public) my California slang while I was growing up, and somewhere along the way, it stuck. Now, I do it to my kids. Sorry kids.

    As creativity is somewhat limited on Etsy, I use two distinct styles for my two separate Etsy shops (both drive my mom crazy, I might add). For tenthings. jewelry. love. feathers., it’s lowercase and periods, and for TuLLe, it’s upper and lowercase letters. Both add a bit of necessary branding to my shops, as you are unable to use unique fonts on Etsy.

    If I could only get my son to use spellcheck on all his work, it would save a lot of stress on homework nights. Many a night, I am shaking my head over all the mistakes that could have been avoided had he just spellchecked.

    BTW, please feel free to check my grammar and punctuation and report back to me {in private, so as not to embarrass me too much, he, he, he}.



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