No Magic Wand for Grammar

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

It's sad but true. There is no magic wand (or computer program) that will ensure that your written grammar is correct every grammar textbooktime. 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 it on my computer to help catch the mistakes I make on Active Rain and Wordpress. But again – sometimes it's wrong.

This morning it told me to insert a comma in the middle of a sentence where no comma belonged. Yesterday it couldn't understand the term "community pages" and did its best to turn "community" to "communities" and (among other things) make me use a singular verb where a plural belonged. Had I not KNOWN that it was wrong, I'd have ended up with a confusing mess.

So if you're still struggling with grammar what's the cure?

Keep reading. Keep studying. Pay attention when other bloggers write about the grammar errors they see here in the Rain. When you see yourself in their posts, make notes or copy and print their advice.

Create "cheat sheets" for yourself and make up tricks to help you remember.

For instance, if you're still confusing "there" and "their" remind yourself that "there" is a place, and so is "here." And speaking of "here," if you confuse it with "hear," remember that you hear with your ear.  

Now if I could just convince people stop writing "advise" when they mean "advice." That one, for me, is like fingernails on the blackboard. (Do schools still use blackboards?) If that one confuses you, try the trick in this post.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 11/14/2015 06:00 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Groups:
EXPRESS WITH WORDS AT ACTIVERAIN
Addicted to Active Rain
Blogs Happen...
Bananatude
Bartender, Make it a Double
Tags:
real estate marketing grammar
grammar in real estate marketing

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Rainmaker
908,388
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Marte, the advise for advice gets me too. I don't write in word anymore because it gives annoying advice. Great post! 

Oct 08, 2015 05:10 AM #1
Ambassador
2,301,867
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

You're right.  There is no magic wand.  If you are going to publish content for the world to see, you need to have a fundamental understanding of the English language.  

Oct 08, 2015 05:17 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,523,386
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Pamela Seley Yes, sometimes the advice can be annoying - but other times, it's good for a good laugh while you're thinking "Who programmed this?"

Belinda Spillman Yes, you do. However, I wouldn't discourage anyone from forging ahead, trying to learn more and more as they go.

I should have mentioned another good option - find a friend who knows grammar and get that friend to check your work. Then, learn from their corrections. 

Oct 08, 2015 05:25 AM #3
Rainmaker
748,414
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

I have Grammarly installed on my PC, too Marte Cliff . I like it in a general sense. I don't know where anything would give 100% accuracy

Oct 08, 2015 06:02 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,523,386
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Doug Dawes It does make you stop and look. You just have to know when it's giving the wrong advice. 

Oct 08, 2015 07:12 AM #5
Ambassador
2,757,253
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Marte - If anyone ever figures out a good grammar app, they'll make millions. In the meanwhile, we just have to pay attention and try to work on it. I was fortunate to have an eigth grade English teacher who beat good grammar into us - we hated it at the time, but I'm grateful now.

Oct 08, 2015 07:43 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,280,926
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

As far as I'm concerned, there is no better way to learn grammar than to read. A lot.

Oct 08, 2015 08:38 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,294,263
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Another great grammar lesson, Marte Cliff .  I like the tricks.  Usually I read it out loud and see if it sounds right AND looks right.  I have a few fingernail on the blackboard issues too!  Don't we all?

Oct 08, 2015 11:08 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,523,386
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Dick Greenberg You were not only fortunate to have a good teacher - you were fortunate in that you actually paid attention. 

Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl I'll go for reading a lot - it's what I do. 

Carol Williams If you were raised with good grammar, how it sounds can be the biggest clue. When I do that and I'm still not sure, I go to Grammar Girl to see. 

Oct 08, 2015 11:27 AM #9
Rainmaker
2,495,812
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Marte - You are one of the best resources for grammar available to bloggers on ActiveRain!  Each time I read one of your blogs, I learn something!

Oct 08, 2015 11:44 AM #10
Rainmaker
5,310,065
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is good advice for all of us. I hope you will send messages when you see my mistakes.

I will schedule a re-blog for November 15th.

Oct 09, 2015 12:42 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,523,386
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Myrl Jeffcoat Thank you, I appreciate your kind words. But of course, that makes me worry more than ever about making mistakes myself!

Roy Kelley Thanks! I didn't know you could schedule a re-blog, so you just taught me something. I don't recall seeing any of those "fingernails on the blackboard" mistakes in your posts or comments - but sure, I'll tell you if I ever do. 

Oct 09, 2015 01:33 AM #12
Rainmaker
2,495,812
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Marte - There are far fewer mistakes in life, and far more lessons!

Oct 09, 2015 01:53 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,161,537
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

There are a lot of grammar mistakes that make my skin crawl. But, unfortunately people get away with them because they are so common.

Oct 10, 2015 01:06 PM #14
Rainmaker
3,016,232
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Marte, I've always been mistrustful of all those "auto" correct sites--so often they correct incorrectly!

Oct 11, 2015 05:30 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,523,386
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Nina Hollander Yes, and that's a real problem for those who are trying to learn and counting on them to be correct. 

Oct 12, 2015 01:07 AM #16
Rainmaker
4,432,093
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Marte, Thank you for sharing the great tips.  I love to read your posts. Have  a good day. 

Nov 14, 2015 07:47 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,871,502
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Marte - thanks to Roy Kelley I saw this.  There is no subsitute for understanding of grammer.  I get comments about properly constructed sentences.  But the one that bothers me the most is the word anticipation when I am using my iPad.

Nov 14, 2015 10:11 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,523,386
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Gita Bantwal Thank you - I appreciate your support. 

Thanks Grant Schneider, and thanks for your kind comment on Roy's post. I don't mind that word anticipation when the  computer gets it right - but it annoys me when it guesses wrong! 

Nov 15, 2015 01:08 AM #19
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