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A Simple Overview on Understanding Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling

If you want to excel as a communicator, you not only need the skills of verbal and non-verbal language, you also need to know the rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Sometimes people in business overlook these requirements in favour of being "good with people" or "good on their feet" where such conventions don't matter. Unfortunately, when the time comes to put your thoughts into writing, it's a different matter. That's when people will judge you not just for your ideas, but for your competence in being able to put together words that are spelled correctly, sentences that are grammatically correct, and punctuation that makes sense.

Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling: an Overview

In a moment, we'll lighten things up by giving you a very amusing run-down of what not to do. But first, here is a summary of what grammar, punctuation and spelling are.

Grammar is the art of using words according to set conventions and rules. An understanding of the 8 key grammatical terms is essential in all written communication. These are: nouns; pronouns; verbs; adverbs; adjectives; prepositions; conjunctions; and capital letters.

Punctuation is the art of marking off, by means of certain conventional signs, the divisions of a sentence so as to bring out the meaning more clearly. The 9 most frequently met signs are: full stops; commas; semi-colons; colons; apostrophes; quotation marks; brackets; and interrogation and exclamation marks.

Spelling is, quite simply, the correct sequence of letters for words.

Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling: How to Get them Right

There are 3 ways to ensure that your grammar, punctuation and spelling are correct when you send out important pieces of writing.

1. learn them yourself. If you overlooked these at school, you might want to catch up now. If not, read on.

2. hire someone who can proofread your writing before it goes out.

3. use technology such as a word processing spell-checker, grammar-checker, and punctuation-checker. Remember though the following caution from Janet Minor:

"I have a spelling checker
It came with my PC;
It plainly marks four my revue
Mistakes I cannot sea.
I've run this poem threw it,
I'm sure you're pleased too no,
Its letter perfect in its weigh,
My checker tolled me sew."

Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling: 15 Rules that are Tongue-in-Cheek

Now for a lighter touch. The following are 15 rules on grammar, punctuation and spelling that come from Tom Brown of Soul Blossoming. They are all tongue-in-cheek and, if you can see the point, then maybe you're not as much in need of help as you thought!

1. Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
2. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
3. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
4. Avoid clichés like the plague. (They're old hat)
5. Be more or less specific.
6. No sentence fragments.
7. Also, too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
8. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
9. One word sentences? Eliminate.
10. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
11. One should NEVER generalize.
12. Don't use no double negatives.
13. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary.
13. Puns are for children, not for groan readers.
14. If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
15. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.