Blogging PreCourse and Blogging101

Mannerisms

In grammar, an adjective is a ‘describing’ word; the main syntactic role of which, is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified.  Adjectives assign value to the words they modify. They tell you how you should feel about those words.

The New York Times ran an article in June of 2012 in which they actually scolded themselves for overusing the adjectives “signature” (18 times in one week), “eye-popping” (128 times this year) “jaw-dropping” (74 times) and the adverb “arguably” (almost 500 times).

So what does that have to do with you? Everything! Overuse of words causes those words to lose their impact. Your readers notice this and other quirky mannerisms you might have. Look at the following mannerisms and take note of any you have.

~Do you have a bad habit of using “it’s” when you should use “its”?

~Do you tend to make comparisons in groups of three?

~Do you leave out capital letters?

~Do you use insert pauses everywhere with three dots…cramming too many ellipses in a post of only 500 words?

~Do you use unnecessary adverbs?

Mannerisms annoy readers. You goal should be to eliminate them from your blog.  If you had a proofreader, they would find and fix such flaws for you. However, most blog writers do not have someone that proofreads each post. You are your own proofreader!

If you’re going to keep a lookout on something, adjectives and adverbs are usually the culprits in overuse. Adjectives are fine in moderation, but keep in mind that words have meanings.  Few things need multiple adjectives. If you throw in adjectives just to fill space, you quickly lose points in the eyes of your readers.

Don’t lose heart just yet. You can attack your “mannerism” problem painlessly by insisting on more concrete nouns and active verbs to describe your products, programs and people.

Take a look at this New York Times headline from June 7:  “Stocks Move Higher, but Concerns Remain.” 

What you see is two verbs, “move” and “remain.” The verbs convey the action and the headline summarizes the main points of the article. This headline does not over-promise and it does not tell you how you should feel. Did you notice the absence of adjectives? Good for you! Learn from this headline.

The next time you want to use an adjective in the headline of your blog, or in the body of the blog, make sure you really need it. Can you find a verb that conveys the same thought? If so, use it.

 

Learn more about blogging with our free Blogging Pre-Course and our Blogging 101 course. You and your readers will be glad you did!

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Course Samples

Subscribe to the BlogWritingCourse Newsletter

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

BlogWritingCourse.com is part of the Time4Learning family of educational programs. Time4Learning provides online curriculum to kids from preschool - 8th grade. With complete interactive Language Arts and Math programs, Time4Learning can be a core curriculum or a supplemental addition to any educational path either public, private or homeschool. From Time4Learning came Time4Writing and BlogWritingCourse. Time4Writing provides eight week, one-on-one online writing courses for elementary, middle school and high school students using certified writing teachers. Focusing on the fundamentals of writing, Time4Writing can help boost the writing skills and confidence of any young writer. BlogWritingCourse provides two courses; Get Ready To Blog, a free starter blogging course that will introduce the basics of blogging and Blogging 101, an eight week online blogging course. Blogging 101 will awaken the blogging beast within and you won't even see it coming.