Grammar is an essential part of content creation. The absence of grammatical errors make your content more credible. A person would react more strongly to your content if it’s written without any errors. Grammar can be tough. There are too many rules to remember and follow, but since childhood, we are taught to take grammar very seriously. Our teachers have hammered all these rules into our heads, but let’s just stop for a second and question these rules. Some of the rules that we’ve learned in school aren’t exactly correct. For years, we are following these rules, which actually influence our writings negatively. This is somewhat more important for content writers. The only requirement for becoming a content writer is to be good at writing, but following these grammar myths definitely, pose a hurdle in achieving that.
We humans have a bad habit of believing in myths. We are the people who believed in the existence of ‘Bloody Mary’ or a cat crossing our road as a bad omen for the longest time, just like we believe in these grammar myths. But it’s time to open our eyes and debunk these grammar myths.
Some of the common grammar myths that we religiously obey are :
Myth: You shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition.
For years we have believed that one shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition. In casual texts, social media posts, and informal emails, we sometimes take this liberty. But we shy away from ending a sentence with a preposition in more formal publications. This rule, however, is misleading. It dates back to the 17th century during which writers tried to codify English to fit more with Latin grammar. The attempt to avoid using a preposition at the end of a sentence, really makes the sentence sound over-formal. All we are trying to say is ending a sentence with a preposition is not a grammatical error, so, feel free to use the prepositions, your way!
Myth: You shouldn’t split infinitives.
This is another grammar myth has been drilled into our heads from an early age. There’s nothing wrong with splitting the infinitives. Splitting an infinitive means putting an adverb or several words between ‘to’ and the corresponding verb, as in ‘to secretly admire’. The good news is, there’s nothing grammatically wrong with splitting an infinitive. The only reason you might not want to do it, is if the resulting sentence didn’t sound right. You need to do it carefully and make sure the sentence sounds right. However, be careful before following it as some linguists may still consider it as a stylistic error.
Myth: “i.e.” and “e.g.” mean the same thing.
Many people struggle with understanding the difference between “i.e.” and “e.g.”. It is popularly believed that these have the same meaning, but it is not true. The usage of “i.e.” and “e.g” is really different. To simplify things, “i.e.” stands for “that is” or “in other words” and “e.g.” stands for “example given” or “for example”. If you struggle with remembering which is which, you’re not alone. They are quite handy when it comes to writing, but try to remember the difference between the two and avoid using them if you’re not clear about their meaning.
You can’t start a sentence with hopefully.
It is a popular belief that a sentence cannot be started with ‘hopefully’ which is not true. ‘Hopefully’ is used to mean ‘it is hoped’ rather than ‘in a hopeful manner’, which is frowned upon by many famous style guides and linguistics. There was a time when most adverbs like happily, sadly, strangely, among other were scowled upon. Nowadays, they are being used more often. Only adverbs that are singled out are ‘thankfully’ and ‘hopefully’. Using hopefully at the beginning of a sentence is not grammatically incorrect. It can be used in some sentences, but one should be careful with it.
You can’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
Another common grammar myth that people follow is that a sentence cannot be started with a conjunction. Conjunctions are words such as and, but, so, and if, which are used to connect sentences, words, or clauses. This myth stems from the popular superstition that if a sentence is started with a conjunction i.e a connector between two or more words, sentences or clauses, then the sentence would look incomplete and it would look like a fragment from the beginning of the sentence is missing. People believe in this superstition as they believe that if a sentence looked incomplete, then it would signify the incomplete thoughts of a person. It is more of an arrogant superstition and not a grammatical error.
We are glad that we have finally debunked at least few of the grammar myths that all of us grew up believing. Grammar is a very fascinating part of English Language- explore it as much as you can!
Check out our article to explore the interesting history of grammar and punctuation .