Katie’s School of Grammar
Wearing your shirt inside out. Sneezing after you put on mascara. Promising your mom that you CAN wear a white shirt all day and then spilling ketchup on it. These are just a few of the things that come to my mind when I think about what makes me look stupid. Fortunately, through my exhaustive job search over the last year, I have found out that above all, one thing can make you look so ridiculous that employers won’t look at you twice, and boys will mutter that they can hear their mothers calling and leave: bad grammar! Now, while I’m sure that makes several people groan and have bad visions of classrooms that smell like Playdoh- in my opinion, correct grammar is one of the biggest (and easiest) ways to make yourself look good and impress important people. Now, while I don’t claim to know everything, I feel pretty confident with my grammar. I can remember growing up, my parents would say things like “it’s GOOD that you’re doing WELL” that I think have really stuck with me over the years. If you ask me, I think one of the biggest reasons people use incorrect grammar isn’t because they’re stupid, it’s because they’re insecure and don’t want to risk looking silly, so they just stick with what they know. BUT- that’s just ridiculous! So, it order to help boost some confidences, here are some of my tips and tricks to proofreading.
1.) Stick to the basics. Think back in your mind to all of those little tricks you learned in elementary and middle school. The difference between adjectives and adverbs- if the word can answer the question “how?” it’s an adverb! Prepositions at the end of a sentence? No sweat! Just remember- if the meaning of the sentence is clear without them- lose ‘em! “Who” and ‘Whom” Use the “he/him method” He= who. Him= whom.
2.) Read your works out loud! It might sound silly, sitting and talking to yourself, but I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to catch my mistakes, is to finish writing, get a drink of water or just take a 5 minute break, and then read everything out loud. Once you get into the rhythm of speaking, you’ll start to notice the ways that your sentences are structured and the way your work flows.
3.) The absolute easiest way that I know to be certain that your paper/resume/essay/blog is totally correct: www.grammarly.com. Their Grammar Checker is so easy to use, it feels like child’s play. Literally, all you have to do is copy and paste your text into the box, and it will tell you everything that is wrong! My favorite part, is that it not only shows you your mistakes, but it explains WHY they’re mistakes, and what the correct fix is. I know you’re probably thinking that Microsoft Word and other programs also have Grammar Checkers but this is way more comprehensive.
I hope this has helped everyone- I know it may seem weird to do a post about grammar, but trust me, in this economy, everyone (especially women) need every advantage they can get!