Every time I read a blog, I learn something. Most of the time, I’m knocked sideways by how smart the blogger is! I often ask myself, “How does he or she KNOW that? I don’t understand that topic at all.”
But what I do understand is that when a headline contains an easy-to-fix error, many readers will be totally turned off. They won’t read the article, and that’s a shame.The assumption is that if the headline contains such a goof, the rest of the writing will be as bad if not worse!
Here are five headlines I saw in the last couple of weeks, somewhat rewritten to conceal their true identities, but still with the original blooper in them:
1. “Are You Sure Your Making the Right Decisions?”
2. “Its Your Time to Shine!”
3. “Are You Making These Missteaks with Your Customers?”
4. “Five Things Successful Leaders do Everyday”
5. “Why I’m Greatful for my Blessings”
I read a few of the comments in each of them, and many readers publicly commented on the goofs, which I don’t like to see. The really sad part is that nearly all who commented said they didn’t even bother to read any further.
Three thoughts on this:
1. If you must confuse YOUR and YOU’RE (or any of the other homophones), do so way down deep in paragraph six or seven, not in the headline. Better yet, learn one of the pair. Absolutely. Positively. Perfectly. And if one of them doesn’t fit in your sentence, use the other one.
You’re = YOU ARE
Your = POSSESSIVE
It’s = IT IS or IT HAS
Its = POSSESSIVE
2. Create your own list of your often-confused words. Each of us makes different errors, and if you track what you struggle with, you can make changes.
3. Let your computer find your errors. Do a search for one of the pair (even better, both of them). See if you’ve used the words correctly . . . or not.
We have only one chance to make a great first impression.
We are all human, and therefore we all make mistakes. But we need to be vigilant about checking what we write before we publish it (and be grateful for the “edit” button).
Let’s be sure we continue to look and sound as smart as we are!
It’s much worse than that; chat rooms have convinced me that many
Americans cannot distinguish between the uses of “to”,”too” and “two”.
This is beyond embarrassing.
Wow, J.Dean — You found an oldie but goodie here! Yes, I agree. It’s a shame that so many writers cannot remember there are three versions of to/too/two … thanks for finding the article and taking the time to comment!