The language of Americans is becoming simpler and vastly more complex every day. We cut corners to save our thumbs from a few extra taps, use complicated strings of emojis instead of thanking each other, and we have begun more than ever to revert toward a less strict sense of what it means to have “good English.”
As bloggers and copywriters, that doesn’t extend to us professionally and it's crucial that we pay close attention to our word choice and make sure we're using them correctly. But let's be real, sometimes we just get a little bit...muddled.
Oh, the age-old struggle of knowing when to use each of these homophones. "Their" is a possessive pronoun, as in "Their blog is really popular." "There" is a location, as in "The best blogs are over there." And "They're" is a contraction of "they are," as in "They're the best bloggers around." Don't get these confused, or you might end up saying something like "Their going to post about it over they're blog."
These two words may sound the same, but they have very different meanings. "Lose" means to not have something anymore, as in "I always lose my phone charger." "Loose" means not tight or not confined, as in "My jeans are feeling a little loose today." Don't make the mistake of saying "I can't wait to loose weight" (unless you want to disappear into thin air).
Another pair of commonly confused words. "Accept" means to receive or take something, as in "I accept your apology." "Except" means to exclude or leave out, as in "I love all types of food except for sushi." Don't say "I will accept all types of food except sushi" (unless you have a really strange diet).
"Affect" is a verb that means to produce a change or influence something, as in "His actions affected the outcome of the game." "Effect" is a noun that refers to the change or result produced by a particular influence, as in "The effect of his actions was a win for the team." Don't say "The affect of the medicine was a cure" (unless you want to confuse your readers with some weird science fiction).
So, fellow bloggers, let's make sure we're using our words correctly and avoiding these common misuses. It may seem small, but getting our word choice right can make a big difference in the clarity and effectiveness of our writing. If writing blogs isn’t your thing, you can always ask us. We totally do that sort of thing.