real estate marketing grammar: Grammar Alert! Advise is not a noun. - 04/22/19 10:49 AM
Among the cringe-worthy grammar errors we see every day, the misuse of “advise” ranks right up there with the misuse of “myself.”
I’m seeing it more and more often, both here on Active Rain and in other articles, posts, and comments around the Internet. And every time it does make me cringe.It no doubt makes some clients and prospects cringe as well - which is why I bring it up every few months.
It’s used incorrectly in “Thank you for the advise,” or “Would you please give me some advise on how to…” In an AR comment it might say “I appreciate … (17 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: The most commonly mis-used words in real estate - 12/13/17 11:55 AM
Do you ever wonder why some word usage mistakes are so common in real estate blog posts? I’m beginning to think that it’s because people see these errors so often they begin to believe they’re correct.
Meanwhile, those mis-used words can destroy your message - and even cause clients and would-be clients to think less of you. It's best to use the word you mean.
One of the most common is the misuse of “advise.” I see it all the time – “Thank you for the advise.”
Strangely, I don’t see the opposite. So far, I haven’t read where anyone said “Please advice … (11 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Searching for the subject or verb - 07/17/17 04:03 PM
Have you ever started reading a long sentence or paragraph and suddenly become lost? It happened to me today when I was reading bios on a company’s website.
I thought “Why am I getting so confused here?” Then I realized – many of the sentences were missing either their subject or their verb. Or, in some cases, both. They were perhaps 20 words long, but they weren’t “going anywhere.”
Who did what? Who is what?
These sentences were better suited to be broken down into bullet points – with some kind of introductory sentence to tell the reader what he or … (19 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Is “Need” a word we "need" to banish from our marketing? - 04/26/17 12:50 PM
Is "Need" a negative word?
Last week my son sent an interesting article about the word “need.” The message must have sunk in, because when I wrote this week’s newsletter, I caught myself replacing it with something else.
Now I’ll offer the question for your consideration.
According to that article, the word “need” is one of judgment – and a bit of bossiness. The writer mentioned those times in childhood when our parents told us all the things we needed to do – or else!
You need to clean your room. You need to clean your plate. You need to turn off the TV … (11 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: No, web visitors won’t read a whole page of copy – unless… - 04/20/17 02:14 PM
The battle between long copy and short copy will probably still be raging when our great-grandchildren are adults.
Some say you MUST have 2,000 words if you expect Google to find you. Others say that web visitors won’t read more than 200 words. Both theories have been proven wrong – over and over again.
I sent a bio to a client a week or so ago and he wrote back to say it was way too long (at 400 words) because people only have a 9 second attention span. I disagreed, but "The customer is always right."
The truth is – there are … (34 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Be careful to match the verb to the correct noun - 03/30/17 02:34 PM
Yesterday, while writing a real estate bio, I made a common mistake: I matched a verb to a noun in the prepositional phrase rather than to the subject.
The sentence went something like: “Each of his listings, from fixer to mansion, is …” But the first time through, I latched on to the word “listings” instead of the word “each,” and wrote “are.”
All I can say is that I’m glad I printed this out, let it sit overnight, and looked at it again this morning. When I read it with fresh eyes, the error jumped out and yelled at me. Thankfully, I … (21 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Not sure whether to say we or us? Use this simple trick. - 03/21/17 03:51 PM
Just this morning my mail included a message from a fellow copywriter who wanted to sell me a course on Tweeting for leads.
It began with “Nowadays us copywriters are being bombarded with…”
What? Ouch!!
“Nowadays us are?” No, no, no!
“Us” is an object, not a subject – and if she’d just removed the qualifying word “copywriters,” she’d have seen her error in an instant and changed that “us” to “we.”
And that’s the simple trick. Simply remove qualifying words or other people, read the sentence aloud, and you can hear which word belongs.
If you read “Us is being bombarded…” you’d know … (20 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Did you write what you meant? The power of a comma. - 03/18/17 01:17 PM
Have you ever heard of the Oxford Comma? I don’t think I had, until just a few years ago. Before that I used it without knowing its name.
Also known as the serial comma, it is the comma that goes before “and” or “or” in a list of three or more things. For instance, I would use it in a sentence such as “I wish you health, wealth, and happiness.”
Interestingly, the use or non-use of the Oxford comma is a subject of much debate and heated arguments.
The Associated Press Stylebook does not use it. The Chicago Manual of Style does. Publications such as the … (18 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: If they won’t read it, why write it? - 01/29/17 11:57 AM
When you take the time to write – whether it’s a blog post, a prospecting letter, or even a property description – you want people to read it. After that you want them to understand it and be motivated to act.
But the first task is getting them started on the first sentence.
You already know about Rule #1 – Never begin with “I” or “We.” So let’s go on to what I’ll call Rule #2 – Make it look inviting.
That means using a reasonable font size and breaking your paragraphs into small bites. Small print and long paragraphs look like encyclopedia … (46 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Another marketing stop sign... - 07/09/16 03:57 AM
This morning's e-mail brought a message from a company that sells instruction in both copywriting and photography. The letter was selling a class and emphasizing the fact that you don't have to be young to learn new things and be successful.
It gave several examples, including one about a gentleman who competes in archery.
His story included a sentence which was a "stop sign" for me. I went back and re-read it, then I puzzled over it. And now I'm writing about it. I never did get around to reading the rest of their message.
Here's the sentence:
"Johnson is 57, and usually about … (3 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Is it "got" or "gotten?" - 06/02/16 01:20 PM
Jane Peters asked me to write about the word "gotten," so here goes…
It's not a word I'd thought about, so off I went to Grammar Girl and a few other sites to learn what I could learn. 
First, I learned that American, Canadian, and British English uses are not in agreement.  Those using British English will use the word "got" where those using American or Canadian English will use "gotten."
Gotten is the past participle form of the word get. It generally (but not always) comes after the words has or have.
Proper use would be:
"I have gotten behind on my … (11 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Is Your Marketing Voice Active or Passive? - 05/10/16 08:54 AM
Have you ever read something that “should” be good and informative, but it was so boring that you just couldn’t keep your mind from wandering? 
You can probably blame passive voice.
If you’re like me you probably forgot all those grammar terms from High School. After all, you don’t exactly go around discussing “voice” or “tense” and diagramming the sentences you read in the newspaper.
But you do know what sounds good. You know the difference between a narrative that sounds dead and one that has life.
Some of the definitions of the word “passive” are “lacking in energy or will” … (10 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: I told you so! - 11/05/15 04:22 AM
Almost every time I write a post about grammar, word usage, or proofreading, someone comes up with the idea that I never make these mistakes - or that they have to be super-careful in commenting because I'll ... I don't know what. Think less of them, comment about it and embarras them, turn them into the grammar police? I don't know.
Anyway, I keep telling everyone that I make mistakes just like everyone else. Yes, I do proofread my work before I send it. Sometimes I go over it many times, checking for goofy errors.
But still...
Here's an email I got this morning … (14 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: "Apostrophes do not plurals make..." - 10/29/15 02:21 PM
OK, here I go again with a grammar/spelling/word usage rant. 
More and more lately I'm seeing apostrophes used to form the plural of nouns - which they cannot, and do not do! 
Plurals are formed by adding an "s" or sometimes an "es."
An apostrophe has two primary purposes in the English language.
One is to denote possession:
Sally's cat. That car's wheels. The agent's listing.  The teacher's book. The stove's burners. Some words, however just ARE possessive, and don't need or want an apostrophe.
For instance:
theirs hers his yours ours its The other use for apostrophes is to take the place of letters … (24 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Why do SO many agents misuse "advice" and "advise?" - 10/15/15 07:46 AM
Why do SO many agents misuse "advice" and "advise?"
I've been wondering about that this week more than ever because I've been reading the entries in the October challenge about the very best advice for new agents.
I was just given the answer. Now I know why misuse of these words is growing by leaps and bounds. It's because agents are relying on Word to correct their mistakes.
I'm working on an agent bio and wrote: "He feels it's his duty to advise and protect…"
Word popped up to tell me "No, no, no. Change advise to advice."
Word is notorious for giving wrong advice, and … (38 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: No Magic Wand for Grammar - 10/08/15 04:56 AM
It's sad but true. There is no magic wand (or computer program) that will ensure that your written grammar is correct every time. Unless you have a basic understanding of the rules, you CAN be led astray by the tools developed to help you.
My Word program automatically tells me (or corrects automatically) when I write something like "teh," and it alerts me when it thinks I've made an error in grammar. Sometimes it's right – most times it's wrong. In fact, some of the "suggestions" are downright funny.
More help - perhaps
Last week I read about a program called "Grammarly" and installed … (19 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Using parentheses: Where does the punctuation belong? - 09/12/15 04:34 AM
The question of where to put the punctuation when using parentheses came up in the comments on one of my recent grammar posts, so I went off to find the answer.
It turns out, this one is easy!
When the parentheses are at the end of a sentence, it depends upon what is inside.
If it's a complete sentence, the period, question mark, or exclamation point stays inside with its sentence. (But then remember, the previous sentence must also end with a punctuation mark.)
Please be here early. (We'll start precisely on time.) Remember to speak up. (Jerry is hard of hearing.) If … (19 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Does that Punctuation go Inside or Outside the quotes? - 09/06/15 03:49 AM
Do you hesitate, wonder, and then re-write your sentences in order to avoid putting the comma, period, question mark, colon, or semicolon in the wrong spot with relation to a quotation?
Wonder no more. Thanks to a suggestion from Kathy Streib, I did the research and found simple answers. I also learned that the reason why it seems so confusing is that Americans do it one way while the British do it another.
Since we're in America, let's not worry about what the British are doing.
Here are our guidelines:
Semicolons, colons, and dashes always go outside the closing quotation mark:
               "I follow a very … (41 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: Does proper use of apostrophes confuse you? - 08/25/15 03:03 AM
If you're confused over the proper use of apostrophes, you're not alone. 
In a recent questionnaire, I asked my newsletter readers if there were some topics they'd like me to cover. One reader said "Grammar! And please start with the use of apostrophes."
Since the explanation is a bit long for the newsletter, I added a simple answer with a link to this post…
How to use apostrophes
Apostrophes have two functions. One is to stand in for letters that are missing. In the most common use, they form a contraction - such as turning can and not into can't or will and not into … (97 comments)

real estate marketing grammar: "Irregardless" is a word, but... - 08/03/15 03:25 AM
When discussing pet peeves in language, my fellow word lovers often mention the use of the word "irregardless."
Some have even expressed concern that its use is becoming so common that it may actually be included in dictionaries before long.
Bad news – it already is. BUT – those dictionaries note that it is NOT standard use. What does that mean? It means they recognize that it is common use, but it really isn't a proper word. It's lumped in with slang and jargon.
So WHY is irregardless not a proper word?
Because it's a double negative. Remember grade school – double negatives are a … (31 comments)

Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting)

Marte Cliff

Your real estate writer

Priest River, ID

More about me…

Marte Cliff Copywriting

Address: 1794 Blue Lake Road, Priest River, ID, 83856

Office: (208) 448-1479




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