12 Writing Mistakes I Wish You’d Stop Making
Alright. No. That’s alwrong. It’s supposed to be “all right,” no matter what your spellchecker doesn’t say.
Alot. This isn’t as common, but it does happen. “A lot” is two different words.
Snuck. Maybe your main character snuck out of the house in the the middle of the night, but as far as your agent needs to know, she sneaked out instead.
“”. I see this in menus and advertising all the time. “Sentence”. It’s wrong. The period goes on the inside, even if it’s not a part of the quotes. The opposite goes for
“;” This isn’t as common, but I’ve seen it more in novels. Keep semicolons and colons on the outside, please!
A whole nother. There is a linguistic term for sticking one word inside of another, but you don’t know it because it isn’t used in proper English. Ban this phrase from your speech and your writing!
To and too. Sometimes I still mess these up. Too has too many o’s, while to is short and to the point. Pun intended.
?! I did read somewhere that this is a legitimate English punctuation mark, but there’s never any excuse to use it in writing.
this: that, this: That. When using colons, you can go either way with capitalization. Just stay consistent.
Misplaced apostrophe’s. If you know what I just did there, I applaud you. Far too many people fling around apostrophes like they don’t know what they do. If you’re wondering what they do, they either show a possessive case or indicate a missing letter or letters. In American English they are also used to indicate the plural form of a noun that is made up of initials, like DVD’s and UFO’s.
Back in the 70’s… Believe it or not, the apostrophe rule I just mentioned does not apply to numbers. 1930s is written without any apostrophe, as is 1990s and 2000s. If you’re cutting back to double digits, use an apostrophe to indicate the missing numbers, like ’30s and ’40s.
If you get these rules right, you will be much more respected as a writer and as a person in general. I will warn you that now you know these tips, you will be tormented by all of the mistakes around you. It’s a necessary sacrifice.