It was a dark and stormy night …
We’re just kidding; this is not your traditional scary story. People often tell us that writing copy is easy — naturally, we beg to differ and have written many times about how you need a copywriter on your side if you want real, engaging and powerful copy for your business.
We know that there are plenty of you out there writing your own copy, however, so we’ve pulled together some of the simplest, yet scariest, spelling and grammar mistakes we see in the content world to help you avoid them!
Why does it matter?
Sure, in the grand scheme of things grammar and spelling might be minor but when it comes to getting your message across, having correct spelling can be (and often is) the deal-breaker when it comes to your audience trusting you and treating you like the industry expert you are.
Here are some of the most common mistakes we see. They’re not groundbreaking, the kinds of things you would have learnt in early primary school, but it’s their simple, fundamental status that makes them so important.
They’re v. There v. Their
They’re = they are. “Polly and Jim went to a haunted house, they’re not scared!”
There = in, at or to that place or position. “Look over there at that beautifully carved pumpkin!”
Their = belonging to them. “We have lots of kids trick or treating in our neighbourhood, their costumes are always very good.”
Your v. You’re
Your = belonging to the person you are speaking to. “What’s your favourite Halloween tradition?”
You’re = you are. “You won’t be allowed in at the party if you’re not wearing a Halloween costume.”
Shall we let Ross do the talking on this one?
Affect v. Effect
Affect = Making a difference to something. “The scary stories we told around the campfire didn’t seem to affect our friends.”
Effect = A result of an action. “Putting the torch up to my chin had a scary effect.”
An easier way to remember this is that ‘affect’ is a verb — an active word. ‘Effect’ is a noun, so it is the end result.
Its v. It’s
It’s = it is. “The weather is nice today — it’s perfect for trick or treating this afternoon.”
Its = the possessive form of it. “Look at that black cat, its eyes are green.”
Than v. Then
Than = Introducing a second element in comparison. “I would rather stay in than celebrate Halloween tonight.”
Then = Indicated a time or; what happens next. “My parents didn’t do anything for Halloween when they were younger, it wasn’t very popular in Australia back then.” OR “We’re going to go trick or treating, then we’ll go out for dinner.”
Stationary v. Stationery
Stationary = at a standstill, stopped. “The car was stationary at the red light.”
Stationery = pens, pencils, those fancy notebooks you spend too much money on and then never use. “The stationery is guarded with ferocity in the Incredible Communications’ office.”
An easy way to remember this one? The ‘e’ in stationery, can stand for envelope — a very handy piece of stationery.
And, while we’re at it …
Copyrighting v. copywriting
Copyrighting = pertaining to the legal implementation of copyright law
Copywriting = what we do! If you want to know more about how getting your copy right will set you up for business success, we’d love to chat. Email us at http://www.incrediblecommunications.com.au/#contact or call 0414 711 107.