How to write good: Knowing you have a problem is the first step

Knowing your limitations as a writer is important.

For instance, if you don’t know how to spell.

It used to be that the non-spellers in the world could get through a day without being revealed. In 2016, that’s not the case.

Texting, email, social media and YouTube comment sections have conspired to make writers of us all, with our work put before dozens or thousands of people at a time. Coincidentally, however, there also seems to have been a lack of shame about our inability to spell.

My first concern is with a public education system that never quite managed to teach us the difference between there, their and they’re.

The second concern is why those who can’t spell haven’t learned to use spell-checkers. They are everywhere; built into every word-processing program. But more than that, they are built into nearly every social-media app that exists.

Start typing, make a mistake and you are immediatley alerted.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 1.36.28 PM.png

Facebook wants you to get it right. Ditto Twitter and Instagram and all the others.

If you can’t spell, trust that your app is smarter than you.

And remember that “you’re” is a contraction of “you are” and “your” means belonging to the person you are writing about.

Author: Media Octopus

I run a Victoria, B.C.-based consulting firm providing website content management, workflow solutions, graphic design, writing and editing, and media expertise.

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