Typos are not just embarrassing, they also can cost a lot of money. We’ve all heard horror stories of a missing number in a sales price and the eagle-eyed customers who reaped the savings. To avoid similar issues with your brand’s content, PR Newswire’s customer content services team copy edits hundreds of press releases every day and corrects thousands of would-be […]

It’s just three letters (with or without an apostrophe). It’s one way of saying “it is.” “Its” is a simple possessive of a pronoun. It’s also one of the biggest grammar errors according to the Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation. To quickly check which word you should use, replace your version of the three […]

A principle of great content marketing is to give your audience information that they didn’t know they needed in order to keep your brand top of mind when they do need you. My favorite example of this is the AP Stylebook twitter handle. Affectionately known as “the journalist’s bible,” the AP Stylebook regularly tweets writing […]

The news release has evolved greatly over the last 20 years since the advent of the online world; it is no longer just the domain of journalists, but also consumers who are looking for trusted sources of data to inform their purchase decisions. These tips and guidelines are designed to help you reach the various […]

My boss and I had a discussion earlier this week on the proper use of the apostrophe when the word you’re adding the apostrophe to ends in “-s” or “-es” (for the record, his last name ends in -es). To my surprise, I was unable to find a single resource willing to make a definitive […]

"If you can't find what you're looking for, create it yourself" — love! Great advice #cmcle — Cathy Spicer (@cathyspicer) January 16, 2015 The first stage of any concept is rarely pretty. Staring at a blank canvas at the start of a project (a writing assignment, a marketing plan, a book concept) is daunting, and […]

A classic marketing tactic is to create a promotion that gives potential customers an incentive to buy. Almost every advertisement for a new car includes incentives for trading in your old one, or having the dealership do your taxes and double your refund to use as your down payment. One highly-publicized example of “incentive marketing” […]

Journalists aren’t just experts in their given beat, they are also highly developed writers with a keen eye for proper punctuation and grammar. For PR pros to have their media pitches taken seriously, they must pay the same attention to detail or risk having their pitch sent straight to the trash bin. According to The Pew […]

Every New Year I make a list of things I resolve to do “more” or “less” of. This year, I’ve decided to focus those resolutions on enhancing my blogging skills. However, I think anyone who hopes to become a better blogger this year can borrow from a few of the rules I’ve set for myself to […]

For my final post of 2014, I am exploring the confusion between the words “rein” and “reign.” A “rein” refers to the straps used to guide or control a horse. A “reign” refers to a period of time dominated by one ruling power. It can be a little tricky to keep these two separate. Both […]

“Don’t use ten words if you can say it in five.” This is one of the most common writing tips I come across while I’m researching grammar rules. Oddly enough, we were all taught to practice the exact opposite in school. Remember writing papers that were required to be least 1,000 words or 10 pages […]

The internet has provided much for us to be thankful for—though it also provides some cringe-inducing material on a near daily basis. As a writer, the value of tools and expert resources available at the click of a button can’t be overstated. Anyone who has produced content for publication, whether a corporate or personal blog […]

A few weeks ago, my hometown high school football team faced a minor controversy that was featured in the news. During an away game, they had allegedly trashed the locker room at the opposing school’s facility. The article, posted late one evening on a regional news site, was the official statement from my hometown school […]

Which is correct? To say that I write a post for Grammar Hammer each week or to say that I write a post for Grammar Hammer every week? “Every” is used to talk about how often something happens. If I say I write something on a weekly basis, I’m saying I write something “every week.” […]

Months ago I received a Grammar Hammer suggestion to look at the difference between the words “shinny” and “shimmy.” The person who suggested this topic to me said she’d never heard the word “shinny.” I’ll confess, I hadn’t heard of it either. I wondered if shinny was an eggcorn (a word or phrase that results from […]

In public speaking, you are taught to watch your use of “disfluencies” – as in the crutch words where you um, like, and you know your way through the silence as your brain scrambles to make a point. Disfluencies can dilute your message and damage your credibility. When speaking to a crowd, ending each point with […]

Get your red pens ready grammar enthusiasts, because this September 24 marks the 10th celebration of National Punctuation Day! Former reporter Jeff Rubin founded National Punctuation Day as an outlet for his frustration with the egregious errors he noticed every morning in the newspaper. It was declared an official holiday when Rubin secured a listing […]

You spent hours laboring over a blog post.  You did your research and fussed over sentences until they were just right. The only thing standing between you and your next task is a headline. You take a few seconds, jot down the first thing that comes to mind, and move on. Don’t do that. You’re cheating […]

In honor of back to school season, ABC aired a special ranking the best episodes of Schoolhouse Rock of all time.  I’ve shared my affection for Schoolhouse Rock before, and I am happy to report that my personal favorite, “Conjuction Junction” took the number 1 spot! Another one of my favorites, which also claimed a […]

I’m of the age that one of the classes I took in high school was typing. Putting two spaces after the period at the end of a sentence was drilled into our heads as a best practice with no rhyme or reason for why this was necessary. Recently, a heated discussion over whether this practice […]


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