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VANCOUVER, BC, January 10, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The New Year inevitably means making resolutions. For those of you looking to improve your communication skills this year, let's take a look at five resolutions that could be adopted regarding grammatical correctness in social media.
We are not talking about texting or tweeting where time and/or a character limit may necessitate "Where r u?" Or "Call b4 u leave." This has become acceptable in the interests of speed and brevity. However, social media in general often seems to have become an area where people assume that normal grammatical rules no longer apply.
Below are five of the most common errors to avoid.
1. Confusing your/you're and their/they're
(Alright, that's really two - but it's a similar issue.) 'Your' and 'their' are possessive pronouns - 'you're' and 'they're' are contractions of 'you are' and they are' respectively. Even when texting/tweeting, we suggest differentiating between 'ur' (your) and 'u r' (you are) with a space.
2. Using 'less' when you really mean 'fewer'.
Countable nouns require the comparative adjective 'fewer'. Non-countable nouns require 'less'. Therefore:
There were fewer options available this year.
The business made less money in 2013 than in the previous year.
3. Confusing its and it's
The problem here is the apostrophe. People tend to see the apostrophe in it's and assume that is a possessive apostrophe. However, it is actually an apostrophe of omission - it's is the contracted version of 'it is' - the possessive pronoun is its. Remembering that 'their', 'your', 'his' and 'her' are also possessive pronouns - no apostrophe in sight - may help with this one.
4. Using 'since' when you mean 'because'
'Since' refers to time - 'because' shows causality.
Consider the following sentence:
Since I graduated from college, I have experienced considerable success.
The only correct interpretation here is that the speaker has experienced success during the time that has elapsed since he graduated from college.
However, if he feels that graduating from college is the reason for his success, the sentence should read thus:
Because I graduated from college, I have experienced considerable success.
The two words are not interchangeable.
5. Using 'me' when you mean 'I'
Most of us are well aware that 'I' is a subject pronoun and 'me' is an object pronoun. Confusion can occur when there is a joint subject or object.
Steve and me are going for a drink after work.
Try removing the second person from the sentence -
Me [is] going for a drink after work. Aha!
The invitation is for my wife and I.
The invitation is for I. Oops!
Make one of your 2014 resolutions be avoiding common grammatical errors like these in your social media, just as you would in more formal writing.
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