One of the most important aspects of writing, or in this case, blogging, is simple writing mechanics. I’ve written previously about how to proofread grammar and about why grammar is so important to any blog post, but I’ve yet to discuss specifics related to grammar itself or writing mechanics in general. Trust me, I’ll get into both quite deeply on this discussion board. Grammar will come later on, but I’ll take a crack at mechanics today. While I won’t delve all the way into mechanics, I’ll certainly describe what the term means and how to take advantage of its rules while blogging. After all, a well written blog post is much more highly regarded by its readers than a poorly written one.
So what is grammar and what is mechanics? Well, grammar is a structure. Any written or spoken language employs a system of rules and grammar rules are what a particular language abides by to make sense, for both the written and spoken aspects of it. Grammar primarily refers to the parts of speech and how they come together to create sentences. Mechanics refers to the rules of a written language only. It primarily refers to capitalization, punctuation and spelling. After all, when speaking, we don’t know if something is capitalized or not. Or if a comma or semicolon is used either. Both grammar and mechanics are separate entities and I’ll focus on each in their own posts.
Let’s get into the mechanics discussion. I’d like to lay out a bird’s eye view of what I’ll be covering in the future. These are the areas and items that make up writing mechanics.
Parts of Speech
Major Punctuation Marks
Minor Punctuation Marks
Words That Look Alike & Sound Alike
Your vs. You’re
Weather vs. Whether
Accept vs. Except
Its vs. It’s
Wear vs. Where
To vs. Too vs. Two
They’re vs. Their vs. There
Now, I’m going to tell you something that’s about to make the study of writing mechanics a bit more challenging. While most people can memorize the items I listed above and have absolutely no issues with reciting them if asked, the true value of each of these items is how they interrelate to each other. By using one, you’re led down a path to another. Specific words are only used when a corresponding word is used in the proper context. Let me give you an example. I hear this one incorrectly used on a daily basis.
Please hand the pencils to Mary and I.
The above sentence is incorrect. It should read:
Please hand the pencils to Mary and me.
I know, the second one doesn’t sound as correct, but it is. If you removed Mary from the sentence, you would see why.
Please hand the pencils to me.
There’s actually a technical reason this is correct and I’ll get into that later. For now, the sound trick works well. It’s easier to deal with as well.
How’s this to mix things up?
Please hand me the pencils so I can write with them.
Oh my. I know. It gets confusing, but there are rules for everything. All you need to do if follow them. I’m delving too much into grammar though, so I’ll back off.
In future posts, I’ll be covering how to properly use apostrophes, when to use semicolons as opposed to commas, when and if commas should be used at all and so much more. I’ll discuss each of the sections I laid out above separately and then I’ll merge them all together so they make sense. Blogging has become an important part of society and every day, millions of people around the world use blogs for entertainment and sources of knowledge. To write coherently and to develop and keep your audience, it’s critical to know how to express yourself through writing. It’s also critical that you do so properly. Your clarity will be appreciated and your audience will thank you for it.