Grammar Geeks Wage War Against Grammar Gremlins

Grammar gremlins are creeping into articles, scripts, and in graphics in broadcast, print, and web-based media organizations across the world. It’s going to be up to us grammar geeks (gurus) to take on the gremlins and win the war. In this article, I will show you the top five grammatical pitfalls I see when I’m copy-editing scripts every day and give you simple tips to avoid the grammar gremlins in your copy.

Engaging and Dazzling Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing is like poetry. It speaks to all of the senses for a truly captivating experience for your audience. Yes, we can use visuals to show people what we’re talking about in broadcast news, movies, blogs, vlogs, and newspaper articles, but even the best images are lost if they don’t have some descriptive copy to accompany them.

Concise Writing: Less is Best

Good broadcast news copy doesn’t have to be verbose. When I started writing for broadcast years ago, I had “lengthy writing” syndrome. I’ll never forget when my radio wrap did not air because it was too long. The audience can get lost in all of those words. Dial it back. Exercise restraint. Practice concise writing. This article shows you how.

Lead Me to a Good Story, but Don’t Lead Me Astray

You’re sitting in front of your blank computer screen.  You have something important to communicate, but you don’t know how to start.  It’s happened to the best of us.  You need a lead line – a good one!  You’re bringing the audience into your story, and you want to viewers to be intrigued enough to stick around for everything you have to tell them.  So how do you craft that stellar lead?  Here is a quick read to show you some best practices and help you avoid some pitfalls.  I hope you enjoy it!  While you’re on my website, check out my articles on Grammar Gremlins, active voice, and concise and descriptive writing!

Lead Me to a Good Story, but Don’t Lead Me Astray: The Art of Crafting Compelling Leads

You might be asking yourself – why don’t I want my lead line to be clever? Here’s the deal. A lot of times, clever is distracting and confusing to the listener or viewer. Our audience shouldn’t have to use the DVR to rewind and see if they can figure out what the anchor is talking about, and likely they won’t do it. They will just wonder what the anchor said and miss the rest of the story. So you’ve succeeded in stumping them, at which point, your method of communication just failed.

Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing is like poetry. It speaks to all of the senses for a truly captivating experience for your audience. Yes, we can use visuals to show people what we’re talking about in broadcast news, movies, blogs, vlogs, and newspaper articles, but even the best images are lost if they don’t have some descriptive copy to accompany them.

Grammar Gremlins Strike Forbes.com

Imagine this. I’m scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, and an attorney shared an article about United Airlines agreeing to a settlement with a passenger who security had dragged off of one of the company’s planes. If you’ve read my article, you know where I’m going with this. That’s right, Forbes.com fell victim to #4 on my list of the top five grammar gremlins ...