I am a lover of words. Someday, I should write a book. At least that’s what my fortune cookie read recently.
It’s no secret to my family or friends that grammar is important to me. It is (admittedly) how I judge the validity or reliability of most written communications. This often results in conversations like the following:



For the record, both of the above conversations were with my sister, who will forever be my resource when it comes to math problems a calculator can’t solve. For years, she argued with me that grammar and writing skills were not important and that she would never need them in her science- and math-based profession. As it turns out, I won that argument and now edit the vast majority of the reports she turns in to her managers.

So why should you care about proofreading written communications? Consider the following:






To wrap up, I’ll leave you with a few common mistakes and tips. If I’ve left off any of your pet peeves, leave them in the comments!

1.    Homonym misuse (or homophone, if you prefer that term)

2.    Passive voice – In a nutshell, passive voice occurs when a sentence is not structured correctly and the subject is acted on, rather than doing the acting. Check out these seven examples of passive voice and how to avoid them.

3.    Apostrophes in plural words – Don’t do it.

4.    Two spaces after a period – Odds are, your high school English teacher told you to put two spaces after a period. I’m here to tell you your high school English teacher probably learned that when he or she used a typewriter. The rule exists because of the way typewriters were made, and two spaces made the words easier to read. Thanks to our good buddy Steve Jobs, word processing software ensures a precise amount of space between each letter, rendering two spaces after a period an outdated rule. Check out this article for more information.