Why are things like grammar and spelling so important to a writer?
The answer is simple... they make your text easier to read. Grammar is a writer's tool, an important one. It is a friend, not an enemy and is nothing to be scared of. Take a look at the following paragraph...
Beaming back to endeavour captain Mackenzie headed straight to the bridge switching the main screen to the aft view he watched in satisfaction as the Hegh’Ta began to drop back and then as the cloaking device took effect the image flickered and disappeared leaving only the stars visible on the screen Sending the ship to yellow alert captain mackenzie began to give orders putting his part of the plan into motion Weaken the tractor beam he instructed and drop the power supply to half I want us to appear vulnerable
Now read it again with correct grammar... which one is easier to read?
Beaming back to Endeavour, Captain Mackenzie headed straight to the bridge. Switching the main screen to the aft view, he watched in satisfaction as the Hegh’Ta began to drop back and then as the cloaking device took effect, the image flickered and disappeared, leaving only the stars visible on the screen. Sending the ship to yellow alert Captain Mackenzie began to give orders, putting his part of the plan into motion. “Weaken the tractor beam” he instructed, “and drop the power supply to half. I want us to appear vulnerable.”
FULL STOPS/COMMAS Let's start with full stops and commas... When should they be used?
Well... start by reading your sentence out loud... Beaming back to the Endeavour, Captain Mackenzie headed straight to the bridge.
As you do so, you'll probably find you paused slightly after the word 'Endeavour'... and a longer pause after the word 'bridge'
Commas represent those short pauses. They tell the reader to pause for a moment before continuing. The full stop tells the reader youve come to the end of the sentence and they can stop and take a breath.
Commas are also used to make a list. For example "green, blue, red and yellow are all colours". Note, words like 'and' and 'or' don't need a comma
When writing speech, there are two types... direct and indirect speech. The difference between them is simple....
Direct speech: Kehlan said "Please use speech marks"
Indirect speech: Kehlan said that speech marks should be used.
When writing direct speech, speech marks should be used. They tell the reader that someone is speaking. It also helps if you start a new line each time somone speaks and another new line when writing the reply.
Like grammar, spelling is the writer's friend. Again, it's nothing to be scared of. If you know you can't spell, try writing your text in a word processing programme like 'Word' and use the spell check. Unfortunately, since the language we are writing is English, it isn't always that simple. some words have different spellings...
Example... Bear and bare... a bear is a animal and bare is naked. A spell check won't know youve picked the wrong spelling.
some classics to be aware of:
They're... this is an abbreviation for 'they are' There... this one means 'over there' their..... this one indicates posession.. eg 'this is their shuttlecraft'
Where.... indicates the position of something... Where is the chocolate? It is on the table Were... past tense of the verb 'to be' ... The targs were running very fast We're... this is an abbreviation of 'we are'
Your... indicates possession... your car... you own the car You're... abbreviation of 'you are'
Next time, let's hear you take on and do battle with the Semi-colon.
Oh, and you missed out one on my Favorite commonly seen mistakes. To, Too and Two. I see this regularly while reading pages online. Especially on American sites and Google video comments. From people who seem to think that Grammar married Grandpa. . .
That which does not kill me ......BETTER RUN DAMN FAST !!!
Kudos! Of course now I must add two of my major 'peeves'...'loose' being used when people really mean to write 'lose' and 'women' being used when they are only talking about one woman. How these things ever got started in the first place boggle my mind. GREAT guide! :)